Since 2014, Ashley Broadway-Mack has been president of the American Military Partner Association, a network of spouses of active and veteran LGBTQ servicemembers. Ashley met her wife, Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, in 1997, and as their relationship progressed, Ashley began to get more and more frustrated at the then-in-effect Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, which prevented lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers from being open about their sexual orientation. As support for a repeal of the policy grew, Ashley began to take a more active role in the organization and was thrilled when President Obama signed the eventual repeal of the discriminatory policy. Although Ashley originally planned to step down after the 2016 election, with Donald Trump in office and his administration attempting to ban transgender soldiers from serving, Ashley has chosen to stay and fight.
“I had planned on resigning from the organization,” Ashley said. “And then when the election happened, I partly wanted to say, ‘Oh, I’m done.’ But I knew we had members from the early days who looked upon me, looked to me as kind of their leader, as their voice, as someone that’s not afraid to speak up and to fight for them, so I knew that I would have to stay on.”