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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    OK...she can be a member, but we don't have to like her, do we?

    January 10, 2013 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jason

      Of course not. This is a free country and you should be allowed to hate anyone that is different. Historically, it has been our right to reach out to these people on the margins of society and slap them down. The government can't divorce us from what makes us 'American'.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Evelyn

      Why not get to know her first and see if you like her??

      January 10, 2013 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • nossir

      Yup. Just like if you're a member and I'm a member, we don't have to like one another.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • richunix

      Yes you most surely do, but as long as your dislike does not manifest into hatred to point where you deny a person basic liberties.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Henry

      Ha ha, "The Truth" (what a joke of a name)...what if you met them and found out you actually LIKED them...would you have the guts to tell "the truth" or would you still cower under peer and religious/social bigotry? You are a bigot

      January 10, 2013 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian from DC

      Whose "we??" Do you think that all straight people act as a group? Speak for yourself. Your prejudice is your own.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Dann

      Hate anybody you like. Just don't act on that hatred in a way that violates their rights.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • ViK100

      why allow her to serve when she has a mental disorder?

      January 10, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Gurgyl

      I am so glad I'm retired. If they are going to be allowed in, at least they should be put on the front lines so they will be removed from the gene pool first. At least that way they would serve a useful purpose.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CSX

    How can one redefine something, they did not create?

    January 10, 2013 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sabaawy

      excellent point!

      January 10, 2013 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Evan C

      You do know that men have "redefined" marriage time and time again? It used to be a contract between a man and his spouse's father. Did you know less than a century ago, people of different races were not allowed to be legally married?

      And the story is about how a spouse was being discriminated against by not being allowed to join a military club. It's not about "redefining" marriage.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • derp

      @ Mattie – Wow, I think I heard Hitler give that exact same speech. Thanks, I had forgotten all about that.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Schaweet


      Two options:

      1. Troll
      2. Padded room with a straight jacket

      For your sake, I'm hoping it's #1

      January 10, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      @Evan...in a way it is. North Carolina does not recognize gay marriage but by this action the Fed is telling people that as long as they are on base in this state it is recognized. Sorry, but the feds gave it to the states and now because the military allows gays to serve then gay marriage is legal in any state? I know some state govs that are going to differ on that.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Blaine

    In a couple more decades, stories like this won't even be reported – because it won't be an issue.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • John A Totten

      I KNOW you're correct but it may take more time than that. I hope not.
      It took Viet Nam and dying together in stinking rice paddies for American Forces to truly become integrated. The period of the 50s was rife with commands 'playing games' within the rules.
      We're seeing the same games, just a different focus group.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. jt_flyer

    this is all good for our country. I'm proud of the marines for many reasons. This is just one of them.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • vr13

      What does it have to do with the marines? This is just a wave of political correctness and more whining, which could have happened in any other social group in the country. It's just that an activist picked up this venue, probably because it would have different resonance. If you ask me, massaging this whole issue over and over actually destracts marines from attending to their main duty.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Another voice

    Fort Bragg...Marine Corps? That doesn't add up. Ft Bragg is an army base.

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

      Agreed. The story seems to conflate the Marine Corps policy with what is happening at Fort Bragg and a private club. The issue with the club could be that it meets on base but still I do not see how a change in Marine Corps policy directly affects an Army base. The writer alludes to the fact that the policy will not affect the Fort Bragg situation because of the private club status but the bigger issue is that it is a different military branch.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Amniculi

      This is about the USMC reacting to a situation that occurred at Ft. Bragg and it applies to all USMC installations.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Old Salt

    In the old corp, pre Obama, the Lt Col would be worring more about the weight regulations then if her spouse can join a club.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Guess they would have kicked out Storm'in Norman?

      January 10, 2013 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Negative Joe. In Schwarzkopf's autobiography he explains how he was able to change the armed forces weight criteria to a measurement of body fat instead of weight versus height. It has since been modified that if you are "over" weight, then a body fat index is taken and if you are within limits you're O.K.

      Nice try komrade.


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

      Or you could read the original story and you would discover that the Lt Colonel is 9 months pregnant.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. the prophet

    The 10 commandment forbids this activity and behaviors , shame on you...the State and National law makers for violations our Jesus teachings.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Really??

      Prophet, stop pushing your religious beliefs on other people. Not everyone in America, or the world, believes in Christianity. We have separation of church and state for a reason. Now if only the muslim world would follow suit...

      January 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      It's true, when Jesus laid out the ten commandments from the ark he built while parting the red sea, he penned the notorious commandment 7, stating "thou shalt not dress fabulously".

      January 10, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Would you also shame the Govt of the people from disobeying the Mohammed teaching and incorporating Sharia Law? Thank God we have an amendment to remind fundamentalist nuts like yourself that we live in a democracy and not a theocracy.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • zootsuitbryon

      "The 10 commandment forbids this activity and behaviors , shame on you...the State and National law makers for violations our Jesus teachings."

      Really? REALLY? Let's take a look:
      1) I am the Lord thy God, ... Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
      2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.
      3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
      4) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
      5) Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long.
      6) Thou shalt not kill.
      7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
      8) Thou shalt not steal.
      9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
      10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house.

      So which of those is it? And look up the meaning of adultery before you point to #7. Or are you just making up your own commandments in your head?

      Of course, the bigger problem with what you wrote is that it's just stupid as hell. Do you also expect the government to ban all nonjudeo-christian religions because of commandment #1? Are people who swear and curse to be arrested (commandment #3)? Throw all those who fail to show up for church on Sunday in jail (commandment #4)?

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

      And it's a GOOD THING for equality that US civil law is not based on your bible. I am tired of having someone else's CHOSEN religion shoved down my throat.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • tffl

      I assume this is a troll, but if not – why would the rest of us care what "your" Jesus said? Your beliefs aren't relevant to other people (or the real world).

      January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • @ Really??

      You're right, but a majority of them do believe in a God of some kind. So let's just turn your words around, shall we?

      stop pushing your religious beliefs on other people. Not everyone in America, or the world, believes in Athieism.

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

      i missed that in the bible school

      January 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Thank God for some common sense finally.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Derek

    We're all glad you're retired, too. It means you're that much closer to not being around anymore entirely. Just like the rest of your kind who belong with the dinosaurs of social extinction. Bon voyage!

    January 10, 2013 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      That's ok enjoy it while you can because after the shows over you're not gonna get your way with God. So, drink it up.

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

      Thats kind of messed up, wishing death on a person.

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

      don`t confuse morality with "intolerance" or "non-progressiveness"

      January 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sid Prejean

    And you know this, how?

    January 10, 2013 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cynthia

    You know all this Bridezilla princess-for-the-day stuff really didn't get started until Queen Victoria married Albert in 1840 and they began to dictate the ideal of "family life", right? Solving the gay marriage issue is as simple as going back to truly "traditional" mariage in which the woman was the property of her father until presented to the husband as part of a remunerative transaction. Men could not marry because one equal cannot own another and women cannot marry because they are property. I wager that would make a lot of people very happy.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Will


    January 10, 2013 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. vr13

    Wannetta, that was uncalled for. Why Gurgil's opinion isn't politically correct, it is his personal opinion. Meanwhile, he is actually the one who defended you "covered your back," figuratively speaking, so if you attack him for his service, you might end up having to cover your back on your own.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • LD

      Let's be clear, he didn't willingly defend the gays of this country. It was, if anything, indirect. Based on his posts...he'd be the first one lining up to get rid of all of the gays. He deserves NO respect...no matter if he was in the military or not.

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

      He refuses to honor the female and gay soldiers who "had his back. Who were injured and died to that he might live freely.

      He deserves nothing.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wannetta

      The man said he would put us on the front line so we would be killed. Would you want him covering you?

      January 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Amniculi

    Whatever happened to "once a Marine, always a Marine" – no matter color, race or creed? It is embarrassing that you are part of our sacred brotherhood.

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

      I use a clicker to change my TV channels. And there are hundreds of thousands of happily married straight women and men who want nothing to do with "species propagation".

      January 10, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • dkwd

      @ cynthia. as well as there are many happy couples that are of the same gender, What they do has no affect on you, I am not for or against gay marriage. It in now shape or form affects me, if they are happy who cares. You do notice in the last supper picture it was all dudes right. Jesus hung out with 12 guys, just saying. How do we know that wasnt hiking them long robes up for some fundamental pleasure. have a nice day.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Wilson

    I see that any opinion that is not pro-gay, disappears pretty quickly on here. Nice to know that a very small minority of people can exercise such control over the free speech of the majority.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Correct Wilson. So much for the komrade libs "claiming" that they are all for tolerance and free speech. That is why I now call those things "Libocrites". Liberal + Hypocrite = Libocrite.


      January 10, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Wilson

      @Yony, aaahhh, a typical response from liberals, name calling. You wonder why liberals have no credibility.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Yoni Levi

      @wilson .. I just called it like I saw it; truth hurts. When you claim free speech on a private forum you show yourself as an uneducated dolt. Don't be angry because your side has lost... equality has won out. I find it funny the only thing you can latch on to is negative observation, to which you try to delegitimize a sound fact... while the right wing has been spewing more hate and bigotry than a skin-head at a KKK meeting.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonathanweeston

      Hate speech is not free speech.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ Yoni Levi

      Interesting how you call a difference of opinion "hate speech" or "bigotry." Really, it's just Libocrites (thanks) controlling the perception of public opinion under the guise of righteousness.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yoni Levi

      When your "difference of Opinion" is against an entire minority group and their rights you are no longer expressing an 'opinion' you are expressing hatred and prejudice. Don't disguise hate with semantics.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Other Bob

      Then why is your post still here? FAIL

      January 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
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