The meeting between Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Colonel Jeffrey Sandborn and Ashley Broadway, the wife of Army Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack, did not resolve the situation surrounding the exclusion of Broadway from the Fort Bragg association of officer’s spouses; however, Sandborn did agree with the suggestion from Mack that they schedule a meeting between the group and Broadway to discuss the situation.
Allyson Robinson, OutServe-SLDN’s Executive Director and an Army Veteran, stated that “Today’s meeting was yet another delay tactic by the command at Fort Bragg and produced nothing more for Ashley and her family than additional delay. Our families don’t need more meetings; they need leadership. We need Lieutenant General Daniel Allyn, the commanding general at Fort Bragg, to use his command influence to bring this discrimination to an end immediately and ensure that Ashley and other same-sex spouses are treated equally in his community.”
The Pentagon has spent two years not addressing the issues affecting LGBT military families and Robinson called on the Pentagon yet again to extend as many benefits as they can without conflicting with the Defense of Marriage Act.
Robinson also said “This situation at Fort Bragg is the logical outcome of an abdication of leadership responsibility by the most senior officials at the Pentagon, and it must end now – not only for Ashley Broadway and her family, but for all gay and lesbian military families who put their lives on the line for our nation every single day.”
The situation was first brought to the attention of Fort Bragg leadership this past 11 December after The American Military Partner Association publically released a letter that Broadway had sent the spouses’ organization regarding her rejection.
Robinson also said “The facts here are simple: there is no legal need or justification for any spouse to be excluded from a group like this, which exists to provide support to the spouses and families of our military men and women and the communities they serve. This organization operates on Ft. Bragg with the endorsement of the Commanding General, and it is up to him to make clear that there is no room for discrimination against LGBT military families in his community. It’s time for commanders at all levels to demonstrate a real commitment to equal treatment for all military families.”
The spouses’ organization is not bound by the Defense of Marriage Act the way the military is.