American Military Partner Association

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The American Military Partner Association
The American Military Partner Association logo
Founded 2009
Location
  • Washington, D.C.
Key people

Stephen Peters, Founder and President Emeritus
Ashley Broadway, President

Jim Cassidy
Mission "Connecting, supporting, honoring, and serving the partners and spouses of America's LGBT service members and veterans."
Website www.militarypartners.org
Formerly called
Campaign for Military Partners

The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) is the nation's largest organization for the partners, spouses, and families of America's LGBT service members and veterans. AMPA traces its roots to the "Campaign for Military Partners", an organization founded by the same-sex partners of service members and sponsored by Servicemembers United,[1] AMPA's mission is to connect, support, honor, and serve the partners and spouses of LGBT service members.[2] With the close of Servicemembers United, AMPA organized as an independent non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization founded by Stephen Peters in Washington, DC. Ashley Broadway, the spouse of an active duty soldier, and Jim Cassidy, the spouse of an active duty sailor, joined Stephen as founding board members.[3]

About[edit]

AMPA is committed to connecting LGBT military families, supporting them through the challenges of military service, honoring them for their commitment to our country, and serving them by advocating on their behalf.[4]

  • Connecting:
Through the nation’s largest private online support network for same-sex military partners/spouses designed to create a supportive and educational environment.
Through national and local events around the country designed to build a support network to bring together LGBT military families in a positive environment to foster communication and mutual support.
Through the AMPA New Military Spouse Mentor Program designed to connect new military partners and spouses to more experienced ones who can help guide them on their new journey in serving our nation.
  • Supporting:
Through local and national educational events designed to inform and support military families.
Through online virtual support designed to educate on specific needs.
By educating military families on resources available to them.
  • Honoring:
By highlighting LGBT military families and the challenges they face in the AMPA Faces of Our Families project.
Through community service projects like AMPA Care Package Drives.
By giving voice to the unique perspective of LGBT military families through the AMPA Military Partners Blog.
  • Serving:
By advocating and educating on behalf of LGBT military families in public policy, highlighting their unique needs and challenges.
By encouraging the expansion of resource and support services available to LGBT military families.
By educating the public through stories in national, regional, and local media on the plight of gay military partners/spouses and families.

Activities[edit]

Since its founding, the non-profit organization has managed to:

  • Highlight the discrimination LGBT military partners and families face by successfully pitching dozens of stories to national, regional, and local media.[5]
  • Create a home on the web for the LGBT military family community that provides a list of available resources, a military partner blog, and a guide to media coverage of issues related to LGBT military families.[6]
  • Survey the military partner community for the first time about the unique challenges and issues they face and present those results to the Pentagon.
  • Facilitate the first meeting between Pentagon officials and the partners of active duty gay and lesbian service members.[7]
  • Hold the first Military Partners Forum in Washington, D.C.
  • Initiate a Military Partner Brunch series in Washington, D.C., and San Diego, California, with plans to expand the series into other cities across the country.
  • Create a private social network exclusively for the partners and spouses of LGBT service members.[8]

In December 2012, when the same-sex spouse of a U.S. Army officer was denied membership in the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses at Fort Bragg, she reported her experience on the AMPA website.[9]

In June 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it would only provide benefits to the same-sex spouses of veterans who either (1) married in the state in which they resided or (2) live in a state that recognizes their marriage when they apply for benefits. On August 18, the AMPA filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit challenging the VA's interpretation of federal law. Their brief cited Windsor and many federal court decisions since Windsor that have held denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples unconstitutional. It said the VA's policy ruling "imports into federal law unconstitutional state definitions of marital status."[10][11]

Events[edit]

In its effort to connect LGBT military partners and spouses around the country, the American Military Partner Association holds local social events to bring military partners face-to-face with others in the same situation for mutual support and encouragement.[12] For LGBT military partners and spouses who are not near major military bases where these events usually occur, a private online social network was established to help connect partners/spouses in remote locations to build camaraderie and mutual support.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Announcing the Servicemembers United "Campaign For Military Partners"". Daily KOS. December 23, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "About | The American Military Partner Association". Militarypartners.org. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  3. ^ "About | The American Military Partner Association". Militarypartners.org. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  4. ^ "About | The American Military Partner Association". Militarypartners.org. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  5. ^ "Media". Militarypartners.org. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ "The American Military Partner Association". Militarypartners.org. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ Garcia, Michelle (August 26, 2010). "Military Leaders to Meet with Gay Partners". Advocate.com. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "About". Militarypartners.org. September 20, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Mark (December 17, 2012). "A New Kind of Army Wife". Time. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Denniston, Lye (August 21, 2014). "Test of gap in veterans' benefits for same-sex marriages". SCOTUSblog. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ AMPA v. MacDonald, Petition for Review, August 18, 2014, accessed August 22, 2014
  12. ^ "Events". Militarypartners.org. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  13. ^ "| The American Military Partner Association". Militarypartners.org. Retrieved 2014-06-29.