The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) and OutServe-SLDN announced last night that the organizations are merging to form the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to education, advocacy and support for LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans, family members and allies — the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA).
The announcement was made t last night’s 2019 AMPA National Gala at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
“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,” said AMPA Founder and President Emeritus Stephen Peters. “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 the LGBTQ military and veteran community.”
The Modern Military Association of America is launching at a challenging moment for the LGBTQ military community as the Trump-Pence administration rolls back progress by implementing a transgender military ban. Just last month, the discriminatory ban went into effect — impacting thousands of actively serving transgender military members and many more qualified transgender recruits who want to serve.
Both AMPA and OutServe-SLDN have been leading voices in the fight to overturn the transgender military ban. Joined by Lambda Legal and the state of Washington, OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit Karnoski v. Trump in 2017 on behalf of AMPA, the Human Rights Campaign, Seattle-based Gender Justice League, and nine individual plaintiffs. The lawsuit will continue with the new organization.
The Modern Military Association of America will carry on the mission of both organizations through education, advocacy and support that fosters an environment throughout the military community honoring the contributions of America’s LGBTQ service members, military spouses, veterans, and family members.
Through its legal help desk, MMAA will continue assisting members with discharge upgrades, legal name changes and discrimination. Through the recently launched Rainbow Shield program, the organization will help equip military and veteran service providers with the skills they need to be culturally competent to provide effective and efficient services to the LGBTQ military and veteran community.
The organization will also continue AMPA’s military spouse scholarship, presented by Hilton, that enables military spouses to pursue their higher education goals. With 81 chapters located throughout the world, the organization will facilitate opportunities for fellowship and camaraderie for individuals and families located at both stateside and overseas military bases.