January 10th, 2013
09:37 AM ET

Marine Corps to spouse clubs: Allow same-sex members or you don't operate on base

It apparently takes more than a few good men, according to the U.S. Marine Corps. It takes all kinds of people to support military families, including same-sex spouses of service members.

CNN published a story this week about a woman married to a female lieutenant colonel at Fort Bragg who believes she was rejected from an officers' spouse club because she's gay.  Less than a day later, Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary advised Marine Corps legal staff such clubs conducting business on its bases must admit same-same spouses. If they do not, the clubs will be barred from meeting on any Marine Corps installation.

Ary wrote that clubs cannot discriminate against any member because of "race, color, creed, sex, age, disability, or national origin. We would interpret a spouse's club's decision to exclude a same-sex spouse as sexual discrimination because the exclusion was based upon the spouse's sex."

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan, who provided a portion of the memo to CNN, said, "We expect that all who are interested in supporting Marine Corps Family Readiness would be welcome to participate and will be treated with dignity and respect."

Flanagan said the Marines Corps was clarifying its policy for its members and would not have control over activities concerning Fort Bragg which is an Army installation.

Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Col. Jeffrey Sanborn, told CNN earlier this week that he could do nothing about Ashley Broadway's rejection by the Association of Bragg Officers' club because the group was private. On Thursday, Bragg spokesman Ben Abel told CNN that Sanborn has not received any guidance from Army lawyers that would change what the garrison commander said previously.

Broadway told CNN she was happy about the statement the Marines gave, but that more could be done. She said that the spouse club at Bragg has not reached out to her.

"I hope that the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense will take some action on this," she said. "They can step in and change some policies too so this wouldn't be a problem for any service member no matter their branch."

The Defense Department has said that it must follow federal law set forth in the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed in 1996 that denies many benefits to same-sex spouses. The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.

This week, Broadway was named one of several nominees to be Military Spouse of the Year 2013.  Tens of thousands of military personnel will vote on the nominees.

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Filed under: Marines
soundoff (434 Responses)
  1. adam

    So here we have once again the leftist, acting like thier jockey strap is busting at the seams when in reality its empty.
    Piece by piece dismantling one of the main.core support of the USA.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Adam,

      Jockey strap? That's a CLASSIC!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. bignevermo

    no you can post here...just expect to be challenged when you spout your bigotry! BTW I aint no C@xsucker...

    January 10, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gurgyl

    @harriet, so the truth of what gays do is "offensive?" Hmmmmmm. Sort of proves all the anti-gays correct, now, doesn't it?

    January 10, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bull

    Forget the gay part.With the Military being picky about weight.It seems the Lt.Col. is getting a pass on her medical ,as to
    her size/weight.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • wootdude

      Dude, she's pregnant.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MagicPanties

    @R E – so infertile, impotent, frigid, paralyzed etc heteros must also be banned.

    So simple, right?

    January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ben Rast

    The gay people that I'm friends with joke around with each other about being gay, just like I joke around with any of my other friends about whatever attributes we find to be a decent source of humor. That doesn't mean that I'm going to go up to a gay person I don't know and make a potentially offensive joke. I'd be asking to get punched.

    Of course, that has nothing to do with anything. This is an article about discrimination, not a joke that might be in poor taste. When you are being actively discriminated against, when you're fighting for your civil rights, those jokes from strangers aren't jokes. Grow up

    January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    God wont go for "Political Correct" in the next life.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • al

      So are you gods official spokesperson? Does he call you every day and tell you who is going to heaven and who is not also?

      January 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      And what do you think God will do in the case of people forgetting that ALL are created in his image and he doesn't make mistakes? You religious nut jobs seem to keep forgetting that. News flash. Chances are very good that using religion to promote hate and exclusion probably would anger God more than LOVING THY NEIGHBOR!

      January 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James Fisk

    "What gays do".....a lot of people that arent gay suck c's also.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Zulux

    For okay looking lesbians.....we should do all in our power to help them out in the hopes of one day they'll post pictures of their love so all of us will be happier. In fact, Cannon should sponser them.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. Francisco

    I am proud of the Marine Corps commitment to ending bigotry on their bases. Their support goes a long way to helping families feel accepted on base and integrated within the military community as a whole.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. harriet

    Do you actually have a point? And if so, are you basing it on what is said to have happened on a big wooden boat that carried every animal on the planet from penguins to kiwis, collected by this old dude (who must have had a great frequent flyer program to be able to get around the world to collect them all), and kept alive on this boat for 40 days while the entire planet was under water?

    Just asking

    January 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. yalesouth

    This was inevitable of course.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. berny

    She should not be allowed. She does not have an ID card and she is not consider a dependent. To use any facility on a military instalation you have to have an ID card and be a dependant of the military memeber.
    She is consider neither.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnC

      well yes but the Marines Corps has officially overturned that "rule" (or was it ever highly formalized?) so that was past this is now.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • kmc546

      that's the problem, she SHOULD be considered a dependent and have a military ID just like every other military spouse. I think you missed the point bud.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Angry Marine

    Your headline is misleading and uses a picture of an Army officer and her wife, please get your facts straight before indicating that a Marine Corps wife was rejected by the officer's wives club...that is not correct.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tutuvabene

    It appears the spouse is closer to meeting military weight standards than the service member.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Erica

      @Tutuvabene:
      -the office is pregnant...

      January 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
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