Maybe you're thrilled with the progress made by the State of Washington in letting same-sex couples get married, as they damn well should. Maybe your heart fluttered last year to know that "Don't ask, Don't tell" had finally ended. That's great! Now here's something that'll darken your brow — a North Carolina woman named Ashley Broadway was reportedly denied membership to a group for military spouses, and she says her exclusion most likely has something to do with the fact that her spouse is a woman.
Broadway, according to the New York Daily News, had been with her wife for 15 years before the couple married after the repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell." In an open letter to the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses in North Carolina, Broadway wrote, "Although I have only been a legal spouse since November 10th, I have been in a committed relationship with my spouse since 1997." She added that she's been at every promotion ceremony for her wife — from first lieutenant to fancy-pants-and-epaulets lieutenant colonel — and is well-acquainted with the heartbreaking exercise of bidding her partner goodbye during multiple deployments.
Believe it or not, that's why Broadway wanted to join a the Bragg Officers' Spouses club — to talk to other people who've had to experience the same emotional tribulations that military life brings. Broadway says that she hasn't been the only same-sex spouse denied entry into military spouses' club (another spouse was denied entry into the Little Rock Spouses Club in Arkansas), which has led her to believe that she was discriminated against because of her sexuality, as if that would ever happen in America.
In speaking out about her thwarted attempt to join the club, Broadway has found an ally in the American Military Partner Association, which created a petition for people to show support for Broadway, who's unfortunately had to be reminded that there are a lot of small-minded Americans still forming tight circles around their campfires and hoping, wishing, praying nobody ever forces them to realize that it's no longer socially acceptable to be a bigot.