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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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.

Post by:
Filed under: Marines
soundoff (434 Responses)
  1. Truthful

    There was a time when blacks were not allowed to serve was that okay? There was a time when interracial marriage was not allowed in many states until the Supreme Court stepped in. I bet in the fifties you would have been complaining about the black officer's wife joining the club. (and yes I'm black and gay and would have loved to serve my country if it had not forced me to be untrue to myself to do so)

    January 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nathan

    I was once an active duty Marine; E-8; and was invited to attend a friends; graduation from officers school; he was an 0-1; I was told that i could come into the Officers club to attend the graduation; but was not allowed to wear my Marine uniform; as i was an enlisted. Two bronze stars; one purple heart meant nothing to these officer pukes. I retired.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fsjunkie

    She says she's still upset because the club hasn't now "reached out" to her. She can pretty much forget about the touchy feely stuff from that forced relationship. So, if she's talking "reaching out" purely from a "professional or legal" perspective, then she's just reaching out and smacking the club at this point. At some point, she's gonna have to decide between the media cameras and this club. I'm predicting she milks her 15 minutes and never participates in the club...only to form one of her own to get her name in lights.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. K from AZ

    I used to hold the military in high regard: NO MORE!
    With sadness in my heart, I’m watching the America of my youth and working life, of God-fearing and law-abiding people, being totally replaced by EVIL leaders elected by a majority of a foolish, ignorant and/or apathetic population! America has finally completed its metamorphosis into a Godless and immoral cesspool of a nation upon which God , on Nov. 6th, has indicated that He has turned His back on! I feel great sorrow for America but, now AmeriKA has what it craved and now deserves: now ENJOY (both this generation and the coming ones)!
    Turn from God at your own peril!

    January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • burbanktj

      I'm pretty sure Southern plantation farmers made these same arguments when Lincoln was trying to abolish slavery.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dkweed

    boohoo, if they dont get anything out of it then it shouldnt matter to you who they are doing.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FormerMarine

    I left the Marines in 2005. The gays are taking over fashion and the military. Now they can go to war in Versace

    January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fandancy

    'Why is a "liberal gay rights agenda" wrong when all they want is equal rights?

    January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JohnC

    agree, ban infertile people or at least have them tested and stop infertile hetero couples from getting married. And maybe require all couples to procreate as much as possible to avoid the significant loss of population we now face

    January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. johnk

    Thank God I am out of the military. It is really messed up with all these politically correct agendas. As long as we are going down this path, why not do what the Greek military did. Allow brothels near the battlefield and allow young men who are gay to be partners with older gay men. We could really go perverted then. Twisted is the norm of the military today

    January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan I

      We're all glad you're out of the military too. We don't need a bigot like you representing what are supposed to be the best of our best.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      So are you saying that Truman's integration of the military in 1948 should not have been allowed because it was social engineering?

      January 10, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. burbanktj

    Shame on you for your ancient ignorance perpetuated by fear and fueled by hate!
    A.)It's much higher than 99.9999%
    B.)This isn't even a debatable debate. It's about helping out military families...ALL families

    January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jane F

    "I would never join a club that would have me as a member", or a derivation thereof. G.Marx

    Whats the point of all this stupidity? Oh to demoralize and destroy the last vestiges of unity in the nation. Sacrifice of the many for the needs of very few.

    Justice is not served here, only "pushy" gay activism. There I said it!

    January 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. burbanktj

    My gay cousin and her lover birthed a child naturally. What now?

    January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rickapolis

    Fantastic. It's nice to move into the 21st century.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. genius69

    Not a lot, just some freaks.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ds

    Good for the Marines...

    January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14