Allegations have begun to surface of discrimination at Fort Bragg against the legal spouse of a lesbian Army Lieutenant Colonel. It is alleged that the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses has discriminated against Ashley Broadway. The allegations came to light after an open letter was written by Broadway to the Association’s leadership. The Association has since changed their website to reflect a requirement that would exclude Broadway from the group.
Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson plans to reach out to Fort Bragg Commanding General, Lieutenant General Daniel B. Allyn. The two are both graduates of West Point. Robinson stated:
“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. Though the organization operates on Ft. Bragg with permission from the Commanding General, the group is not formally affiliated with the military and is not required to bar membership to Ashley. In the absence of a reply from the Association, we are left with no option but to reach out to the base’s leadership. General Allyn needs to know if there is discrimination happening against the military families in his community.”
Because the Association is a non-profit and not governed by the laws applying to the federal government, OutServe-SLDN pointed out that there is no legal basis such as the Defense of Marriage Act to exclude Broadway from the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses. Other organizations like it have included same-sex families in the wake of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Robinson also stated “General Allyn and I both learned in our first weeks at West Point that impartiality is a hallmark of effective leaders. As new cadets, we were both required to commit to memory a quote from General William Jennings Worth, who led American troops in the War of 1812. Worth states that for a commander, ‘to be partial is to dishonor both himself and the object of his ill-advised favor.’ With programs such as these, which are not bound by a federal definition of marriage, commanders like General Allyn should use their influence to ensure all service members’ families are treated equally.”