The American Military Partner Association, or AMPA, is the nation’s largest resource and support network for the partners, spouses, families, and allies of America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) service members and veterans. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by the partners of active duty servicemembers, AMPA has grown to the strength of over 40,000 members and supporters and is proud to be leading the nation in education, advocacy, and support for our modern military families.
Through our unprecedented work of connecting, supporting, honoring, and serving the partners and spouses of America’s LGBT service members and veterans--who are an important part of our nation’s modern military families--we’re building strong resource and support networks like no other.
AMPA traces its roots to the “Campaign for Military Partners,” an unprecedented effort launched in 2009 to connect and advocate for the of servicemembers living under the threat of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Then sponsored by Servicemembers United, an organization working 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 under DADT. After the successful repeal of DADT, AMPA was born at the end of 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.
AMPA launched and maintains the website MilitaryPartners.org as the online premier information resource for the partners, spouses, and families of LGBT service members, and we continue to engage in a systematic outreach campaign to LGBT military partners to bring them into the organization, helping make them start to finally feel like a welcomed part of the wider military community.
AMPA also initiated a series of nationwide events primarily focused on LGBT military partners and couples, including periodic brunches, happy hours, and other opportunities for our members to meet one another, bond, and receive the support and camaraderie they desperately need. In order to connect and involve those who are not near major military population centers where our social events usually occur, we launched the first-ever private online social network exclusively for the partners of LGBT service members and veterans. This private online network allows members located anywhere to plan events, search for new friends, and share experiences and updates in a confidential and supportive environment.
After the repeal of DADT, AMPA sparked the national dialogue on the impact of marriage inequality on the spouses of servicemembers who were denied access to the military benefits and support systems offered to the opposite-sex spouses of servicemembers. Sharing story after story, we pressed for full and equal benefits for the same-sex spouses of servicemembers. After the partial fall of the Defense of Marriage Act thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Windsor case, and the eventual recognition of the same-sex spouses of servicemembers by the Department of Defense, AMPA continues to advocate for full LGBT equality in the United States military.
From highlighting the impact of marriage inequality and discriminatory policies in various states around the nation, to working to achieve equal veterans benefits for our LGBT veterans and their families, to working to improve the lives of our families by changing hearts and minds — as well as outdated policies – AMPA continues our important mission in education, advocacy, and support.
The American Military Partner Association has been on the front lines of honorably serving this unique constituency by identifying, connecting, supporting, and finally recognizing them as a part of our wider military community, and we are proud to continue our mission.
To join AMPA and connect to thousands of other LGBT military families, please visit MilitaryPartners.org/join.
Updated by Armin Brott, June 2016