WASHINGTON — A leading advocacy group for LGBT service members and veterans announced Thursday it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at Fort Bragg, N.C., seeking to obtain documents and correspondence relating to an officers’ spouses club’s refusal to admit a same-sex spouse.
The request by by OutServe-SLDN centers on the exclusion by the Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses of Ashley Broadway, the same-sex spouse of Lt. Col. Heather Mack.
Broadway said that her application for membership in the spouses’ club was rejected by the group’s president, Mary Ring, because Broadway does not have a military spouse identification card. But that rule was allegedly added only after Broadway asked to join the club last month.
The Pentagon late Tuesday night backed up the decision of Army leaders at Fort Bragg in North Carolina not to intervene in the case, citing a 2008 policy that has not been revised since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2011, reported BuzzFeed.
The reason cited by an Army spokesman at Fort Bragg: “Federal discrimination laws don’t extend to sexual orientation.”
The FOIA request seeks information about communications received by or sent from the North Carolina Army installation’s commanding officer, Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, and several others regarding “the operation, continued operation, or membership or admission policies or practices of the Club.”
“Gay and lesbian military families at Fort Bragg and throughout the armed services deserve to know if their chain of command is working for them or against them, said Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.
“If there is a coordinated effort that would undermine the principle that every service member and his or her family should be treated impartially, our nation’s leaders at the Pentagon need to know as well,” she said.