US: Lesbian soldier’s wife rejects ‘special guest membership’ after being turned away

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The Fort Bragg military spouses’ club in North Carolina which denied entry to a lesbian soldier’s partner last month has offered her a “special guest membership”, only to have it rejected.

Ashley Broadway, the wife of Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack, was declined entry into the officers’ spouses club after being told she would need a military ID to join.

The club has since said that is does not “explicitly” require military ID for membership, and that Ms Broadway’s request “would need to be studied.”

On Thursday, the club wrote to Ms Broadway offering a “special guest membership” but she turned the offer down, saying it was “not only offensive, but just plain hurtful.”

“My wife wears the same uniform as the spouses of [the club] and she’s just as prepared to give her life for our country,” Broadway said. “I wake up each and every day to the reality that I’m not equal, that my 15 years of love and faithfulness to my wife and country does not mean I’ll receive support as a military spouse.”

In a letter to Ms Broadway the spouses’ club said that the guest membership was being offered “in a continued attempt to support all military families”.

While the military allows gay and lesbian couples to serve openly, it does not recognise marriages due to the Defense of Marriage Act.

Officials at Fort Bragg say that there is nothing they can do because the club itself is privately-owned.