MMAA History: The American Military Partner Association
The Modern Military Association of America was formed through the merger of OutServe-SLDN and the American Military Partner Association (AMPA).
AMPA was the nation’s largest resource and support network for the partners, spouses, families, and allies of America’s LGBTQ service members and veterans. Founded by the partners of active duty service members, AMPA focused on education, advocacy and support for these modern military families.
AMPA traced it roots to the “Campaign for Military Partners” — an unprecedented effort launched in 2009 to connect and advocate for the same-sex partners of service members living under the threat of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Then sponsored by Servicemembers United, an organization fighting for the repeal of DADT, it was the first-of-its-kind movement to bring support to these hidden partners and their families who were also forced to live in the shadows.
After the successful repeal of DADT, AMPA organized as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2012. Founded in the city of Washington, DC, by Stephen Peters, the spouse of an active duty Marine, AMPA continued to revolutionize and shape the movement working to bring full equality to these modern military families. Along with a dedicated team of volunteers, Stephen was joined by founding board members Ashley Broadway, spouse of an active duty soldier, and Jim Cassidy, spouse of an active duty sailor.
Through the power of storytelling, AMPA especially focused on bringing to light the severely harmful impact of marriage inequality on LGBTQ military families. The organization worked to educate the public through social media and stories in national, regional and local media on the plight of LGBTQ military families. AMPA also filed several amicus briefs with courts considering marriage equality cases.
Over the years, AMPA grew to the strength of more than 50,000 members and supporters and achieved a proven record of accomplishments.
Since its beginning, the all-volunteer AMPA team managed to:
- Create the nation’s largest resource and support network for the LGBTQ military family community, complete with an open forum, local networks across the country and around the world, a military partner blog, a list of recommended resources, and a running list of media related to LGBTQ military spouse issues
- Survey the LGBTQ military partner community for the first time about the unique challenges and issues faced by them specifically and presented those results in a special report to the Pentagon
- Facilitate a first-ever meeting between Pentagon officials and the partners of gay and lesbian service members
- Held an inaugural Military Partners Forum in Washington, DC bringing together these same-sex military partners for the first time
- Launch an annual National Gala in Washington, DC, to celebrate and honor LGBTQ military families on a national stage
- Successfully pitch hundreds of stories to media on the plight of LGBTQ military spouses and families
- Initiate events around the country to bring LGBTQ military families together in a positive environment to foster communication and mutual support
- Initiate care package drives around the country for deployed LGBTQ troops
- Launch AMPA Rainbow Railroad, a volunteer network of host families for couples traveling to get married from marriage inequality states to marriage equality states
- File several amicus briefs with courts considering marriage equality cases
- File suit against the Secretary of Veterans Affairs arguing that the denial of benefits to same-sex spouses of veterans living in states that refuse to recognize their marriages is in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act
- File suit as an organizational plaintiff against President Donald Trump and his implementation of a transgender military ban
- Launched a program called MilPride dedicated to supporting military families with LGBTQ kids