The Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses has finally relented and offered full membership to Ashley Broadway, the wife of a Lieutenant Colonel at the base. Originally, the group had denied Broadway the membership because she is married to a woman. Making matters worse for the ABOS, Broadway was recently named Fort Bragg’s Army Spouse of the Year.
After further reviewing the (club’s) constitution, by-laws and internal procedures, the ABOS Board felt that in order to immediately support all military Officer spouses who are eligible for ABOS membership a more inclusive definition of spouse was needed. Therefore, any Spouse of an active duty commissioned or warrant Officer with a valid marriage certificate from any state or district in the United States is eligible for ABOS membership,” the club’s board said in a statement.
ABOS does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, creed, or sexual orientation. ABOS would like to publicly invite Ms. Broadway to apply for full membership to ABOS. It is and always has been our mission to support all military families.
The ABOS fought long and hard to prevent this from happening. They even offered Broadway a guest membership and required her to present a military ID, which is not allowed under military regs quite yet.
Broadway stated after this development that “I have further reason to take pride in the Ft. Bragg military community, knowing that we, as military spouses, are able to come together to support each other, our soldiers, and our families.”
The military still has a lot of issues in the wake of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Defense of Marriage Act hampers full integration in many ways, but it is one small positive step forward.