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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    "The military doesn't need to sacrifice its mission and bend to perverted activism."

    Um, It isn't.

    "these lesbains don't want to fight for this country"

    Yet they enlist in the military? Hmm, how long have you been a complete imbecile?

    January 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    This private organization has a right to decide who can and can't join, and the marine corps has a right to say whether they can operate on base or not. The bigots who don't like it can go suck an egg... the days of your backwards ways are numbered! Equality is coming whether you like it or not.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AuntySocial

      Agree with your eloquent post.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    GAWD! The komrade libs, who claim to be all for tolerance of others opinions, have been nuking comments that they don't like. Typical of the libocrites, Liberal + Hypocrite = Libocrite.


    January 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      Scott, so you feel you should be allowed to comment about your opinions but should be immune to replies from people who disagree with them? What a hypocrite!

      January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Komrade James,

      Reply to my comments all you want. What I'm talking about is you and your fellow libocrites that nuke comments that they don't like. BIG difference.


      January 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. papa57

    i served my country for 12 proud years and this is what it turning to the world is going to hell especially the US i wouldnt trust a gay person laying down cover fire for me and thats a fact!!!

    January 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • l

      I salute you...USA is dying.....FREAKS are taking over...NEVER SURRENDER...hoooraaaaahhh..!

      January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lou San

      I served my country for 31 years, saw multiple deployments into combat areas and I'm gay. So cut the crap, your ass was probably saved by someone like me, unless of course your were a paperpusher for those 12 years. I'm proud of my service, I'm proud of all the men and women who served with me whether they were gay or not. Don't belittle our service by your spewing your brand of hatred.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      There are gay men and women competing in sports at professional and Olympic levels. No doubt they could lay down fire and do pretty much anything else better than you can.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angie

    I have an idea..

    START YOUR OWN CLUB... As if forcing them to let you in will ever get you "accepted". They will just have secret meetings and still exclude you...

    Get over it!!!! Start a LGBT military spouses' club and stfu...

    January 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Retired Disabled Vet

    The removal of DADT was one of the worst things to happen to the U.S. Military. If my injuries wouldn't have removed me from the service, I would have left anyone due to this fact.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Disabled Vet

      23yr old Afghan Combat Vet, served with 173rd Airborne 1/503 IN (ABN)

      January 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • James PDX

      And your departure would have been welcome since any true American patriot believes in equality for all, as it is one of the prime foundations that made our country great.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Odumbama

    Gays & Lesbians wants equal rights in our Society but they can't handle equal jokes, pranks like any other straight person and they want special rights therefore I am developing a G&Ls Vaccines which will Eradicate Gays & Lesbians mental disease by vaccination process just like any other Human Diseases like Polio Vaccination, Chicken Pox Vaccination etc etc etc.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      There is no vaccine for ignorant bigotry, but education goes a long way.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |

      funny, but seriously I hope these FREAKS will have a virus that will wipe them out in the face of this beautiful planet..

      January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    Have you ever watched Neil Cavuto, Shepard Smith, Meghan Kelly or Bret Bahere? If you have, what is the problem with their shows? If not, you are speaking from ignorance.
    I would put those 3 against anyone who does the news on any channel. They are entertaining, informative and they always have guests who have totally different points of views than their own i.e. Wrangle, Hoyer, Kotowski, Chuck Schumer and on and on and on...

    January 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Drew

    I'm more afraid of straight person who hates everyone that is different than someone who is gay and loves people who are different. Just how is a gay person ruining society? What is the "gay agenda"? To rob you of your curtains and pink sweaters?

    January 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |

      spread their dirt sickness AIDS...

      January 10, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jerry

    Wow! What are our once prestigious Armed Services coming to?! No wonder so many service personnel are so discouraged with Obamalooney and HIS misguided administration! Oh well...

    January 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ironman59

      You are what is wrong, not the marines or Obama. The marines have it right, time for the rest of the armed forces to catch up.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. empresstrudy

    Ft. Bragg is Army not Marines. The Marines are Navy not Army. So what the Navy says about the Army is besides the point. The only place the Army and Navy command structure intersects is in the White House.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. aj_18

    Same thing as the Army requiring soldiers to ASK for permission prior to engaging in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan when someone is firing on them and the Marines not requiring it. Marine Corps appears to have people in control that actually have common sense maybe not decency but sure as hell has common sense!!

    January 10, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve Johnson

    Why would a gay woman want to join a club of straight women? Doesn't make sense, unless she is thinking of becoming straight. Why even put yourself in that position and to make the military choose? Why don't they have men in their club? They should re-define there requirements for membership to straight women only. Gays want rights? soon they'll have them: they own schools, churches, restrooms, locker rooms. They already have there own bars, might as well give them a club to join too.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Hey Steve! Does ignorance run in your family? So you understand just what the organization is? It has NOTHING to do with being straight or gay!! You ever been to a gay bar? Not all people there are gay. You been to a "straight" bar.. Not all people there are "straight." Your ingnorance and/or stupidity is appalling. Maybe you should learn what being an American is all about.. But then again bigotry and discrimination is your mantra

      January 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cam

      The club is one for spouses of military, not a straight women's club. She has every right to join. The rest of your argument makes no sense whatsoever. Separate schools, churches, bathrooms, etc. Sound familiar? Replace the word gay with black in your response and you'll realize how ignorant you sound.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • nachoknights

      and what about your buddies, your log cabin pals...

      January 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |

      gay M16, gay granades, gay fighter places, gay drones.....ALL gays...ALL FREAKS..

      January 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pendelton1st


    January 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john

    I forgot to comment on the topic – live and let live. I have never understood the hate against "certain people" – be it gays or anyone who is different (than me).
    I can't even imagine some of the nasty things that go on. Can you imagine your loved on on their death bed and not being "allowed" to enter the room because you are not "a family member"?

    January 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
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