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January 8th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

Out - but not in: Fort Bragg's spouse club shuts out gay wife

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) – For 15 years, Ashley Broadway has devoted her life to the military and to her spouse, an Army lieutenant colonel.

The former schoolteacher found a new job and made new friends each time she had to relocate bases, including a move to South Korea. When a deployment to the Middle East separated the couple, Broadway took care of the couple's young son, Carson, on her own.

Now at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and with a second child on the way, Broadway wanted to settle down and get to know more spouses like herself.

So she applied for membership to the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses.

"I thought, 'Here's a chance to make some close friends who would really understand me,' " Broadway said. "And I could get very active in events that help other families like mine. I was excited, really excited, to be a part of this group."

But the Bragg spouse club apparently didn't feel the same way. Broadway's married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack. The officers' spouse club didn't want her, she believes, because she's gay.

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Filed under: How we live • Military • Relationships • Sexual orientation
Opinion: Why 'Django Unchained' stirs race debate
January 8th, 2013
03:00 AM ET

Opinion: Why 'Django Unchained' stirs race debate

Editor's note: Gene Seymour is a film critic who has written about music, movies and culture for The New York Times, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly and The Washington Post.

By Gene Seymour, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Spike Lee says he's never going to see Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" because he's certain it is "disrespectful of my ancestors." Tarantino says he doesn't need to waste time responding to Lee's accusation. That, as they say, is that.

So why do we insist on staring at two egomaniacs staring down each other?

Race. Again. The subject that never fails to provoke, antagonize, alienate - and fascinate rubber-necking onlookers from sea to shining sea. Fixating on race is an absurdity that has no rational reason to exist, yet no one quite knows how to eliminate it from humankind. The only thing dumber than race is underestimating its importance.

"Django Unchained" is Tarantino's latest exercise in genre-bending audacity, an antic ripsnorter folding in most of what its director knows and loves about spaghetti westerns, 1970s blaxploitation thrillers and his own ribald, recklessly violent body of work. Its title character, played by Jamie Foxx, is a slave bought and freed by a drolly effective German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), who agrees to help Django emancipate his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from a decadent plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

"Django" makes no pretense of being anything other than a phantasmagoric pseudo-western, rife with calculated vulgarity, anachronism and impropriety. Its body count rivals that of Tarantino's 2003 martial-arts epic, "Kill Bill Vol. 1" (to whose messily operatic set pieces of slaughter "Django" bears an uncanny resemblance).

Read Gene Seymour's full column