Coalition names Benson 'ally spouse'

 The Military Partners and Families Coalition has named Jocelyn Benson the organization’s December ally spouse. Benson serves as the interim dean of Wayne State University Law School. In the 2010 election, she was the Michigan Democratic Party’s nominee for Secretary of State. Benson co-founded Military Spouses of Michigan (MSoM) and currently serves as the organization’s president. She authored a book in 2010 titled, “State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process.”

MPFC ally spouses are individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in working toward advancing equality for all military families. 

“I’ve seen firsthand how our military family community can often be overlooked and invisible,” said Benson. “The sacrifices that we and our families make every day are largely unknown to the general public. That applies even more so to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military families. That is why it’s important for military spouses to welcome and support anyone who loves someone in the military as part of our community. Love is love, and I look forward to a day when the rights and benefits of marriage are available to everyone equally.”

MPFC President and Co-Founder Ariana Bostian-Kentes added, “The Military Partners and Families Coalition is happy to honor Jocelyn as our featured ally spouse of the month. Allyhood is about taking action; it’s also about doing whatever you can to make sure everyone is included. Jocelyn showed leadership in making that a priority when co-founding Military Spouses of Michigan as an organization that is inclusive of all military families. As a lifelong Michigan resident and the partner of a Michigan National Guard soldier myself, it means a lot to have such a vocal ally like Jocelyn to work alongside in my home state.”

Amber Sweeney, wife of Air Force Major Nick Sweeney, stationed at Eglin AFB, is pleased with the progress that has been made toward fostering an inclusive climate for all military families. 

“As a military spouse in Florida, we have always been welcoming to the LGBT military families in our community. Our military families in Florida continue to urge our elected leaders to join the 16 states and District of Columbia in recognizing marriage equality.”

Bostian-Kentes stated, “Being an ally is often about doing the right thing and not seeking recognition for it. That’s why we as an organization are happy to honor the work that these ally spouses are doing and to offer that recognition. We look forward to the day that the role of allies becomes less critical; the day when our military’s culture and the culture surrounding it is inclusive of all those who serve, including the families. We are also actively working toward the day when access to employment, housing, citizenship, health care, marriage, and other rights is available to everyone, regardless of where they are stationed.”


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