Two LGBTQ military nonprofits have merged to form the Modern Military Association of America.
The merger of American Military Partner Association and OutServe-SLDN makes the Modern Military Association of America the country’s largest nonprofit dedicated to advocacy, education, and support for LGBTQ service members, military spouses, family members, veterans, and allies.
This move comes in the wake of the Defense Department implementing the transgender ban put in place by President Trump. The ban went into effect last month.
The group will be led by Navy veteran Andy Blevins. Blevins formerly served as executive director of OutServe-SLDN, which was itself the product of a merger between the OutServe (a network of LGBT military organizations) and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Those groups had worked together to defeat the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Blevins was discharged as a result of that policy.
“I’m both humbled and honored to lead the Modern Military Association of America at this challenging moment in the fight for LGBTQ military equality,” Blevins said. “While we’ve made tremendous progress over the years as a community, much of that progress is now being threatened and rolled back – especially for our transgender service members who now face an unconscionable transgender military ban. We’re committed to doing everything within our power to stand up for all of our modern military veteran families and ensure they have a powerful voice in Washington and beyond.”
Ashely Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association says that the new organization will take on similar challenges facing LGBT service members today.
“We’re truly excited that both of these incredible organizations are merging to create a formidable force in the battles ahead,” Broadway-Mack said. “We’re embarking on a new journey fighting for open and authentic service and education, advocacy, and support for modern military families.”
While fighting against the transgender military ban is a top priority for the Modern Military Association of America, the group faces other challenges as well. One will be assisting those veterans receiving “other than honorable” discharges as a result of the ban and other policies. With such a discharge, those veterans are not eligible to receive services offered to other veterans such as health care and education.
“For nearly a decade, the American Military Partner Association has been on the front lines fighting for our nation’s modern military spouses and their families,” AMPA founder and President Emeritus Stephen Peters said. “Now, we’re doubling down in our fight for fairness and equality by joining forces with OutServe-SLDN. The Modern Military Association of America will be a powerhouse of community advocates and a united voice for LGBTQ military and veteran community.”