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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    There go "The Few and the Proud". This Country is something else. Free speech as long as you agree with everyone else. Say something negative about a specific group and all of the sudden you are the villian. People have the right to say "No". Pressure should not make them change their minds. Come on America – Stand up for what you believe in and fight for it. Keep your morales. Our Country is heading straight for hell because we constantly give in to what is wrong.

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


      Avoid hell by sticking with the Bible. Bring back slavery and discimination against women.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danno

      Good...then we can go back to burning imbeciles like Observer at the stake.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Speaking of imbeciles, guess you don't know anything about the Bible.

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

      Observer, I know what the Bible says about divorce, but given what it says about divorce, where's your outrage about our 50% divorce rate. Always deathy silent when I ask Pharasees like you that question.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      You are a disgrace to all Americans. Being gay or straight has nothing to do with this organization. It's about spouse's who have loved ones serving in the military. It's sheer bigotry that restricts this membership. It is you who projects an anti-American view. Your tolerance of bigotry fits right there with the KKK, a group that professes Christianity..

      January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Why not grow up and skip the juvenile name-calling? There is no such word as "Pharasees" anyway. Ooops.

      The 50% divorce rate is a disgrace to all the Christian hypocrites who whine about the "sanct-ity" of marriage.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danno

      My apologies, Observer....I mispelled your name. Now Pharisees, aren't you one of those very hypocrites you're whining about? Why do all these "Save the family" organizations skim over divorce? Is it just easier to bash gays...easier to get contributions? Is Divorce a little too close to home? Do you think being gay is a choice?

      January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      I am supporting gays It sure appears that you have a reading comprehension problem.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lobosan

      As one of the few and the proud myself, I AM standing up for what I believe in–namely, the freedom and equality which embody this nation's great spirit. If a gay service man or woman can shed blood in my defense, I will gladly do no less to defend their civil liberties.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Thank you for your service to our nation. It's pathetic to see the unpatriotic INGRATES who don't appreciate all that ALL military people do for ALL of us.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Grow up.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |

      You can support gays in the military all you like, but I wouldn't try supporting these two heavweights – you'd end up with a hernia for sure.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • e-vangelist

      I dont skim over divorce. no fault divorce was the biggest mistake in last 50 years. need to go back to divorce only for abuse and adultery.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bo

    Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out. -Mark Twain

    These are classic examples of "tolerance" espoused by liberals on this board towards conservative viewpoints.

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


      The INTOLERANCE is by others against gays. Ooops.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |

      Observer is carrying the flag of political correctness today. Yesterday our two marine bovines were using it as a bib.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mrl

    That is cool – let those women in the club rip her to shreds... they are catty even with normal people

    January 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      This is another "cause" situation. Obviously is she wanted peer support then she would not be looking to hang out with wives married to MEN. She knows she will not be welcome even if forced to by the military.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Debby

    These so called "groups" only hurt themselves when they act so blatenly racist. Who a person loves or lives theur life with is their own GOD GIVEN right. People need to STOP being so ignorant.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • edog355

      Racist? What does race have to do with this at all?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lizzy10

    The Marines rock!

    January 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |

    There are two very wrongs here:
    First no one has any authority over a "Club"...Thats why its a "Club" and only they and there members dictate who to allow in.
    Secondly, and this can not be debated, anything that fails to meet with its natural design is unequivocally abnormal.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |

    There are two very wrongs here:
    First no one has any authority over a "Club"...Thats why its a "Club" and only they and there members dictate who to allow in.
    Secondly, and this can not be debated, anything that fails to meet with its natural design is unequivocally abnormal.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. redstate

    Semper Fii – you don`t need the "clubs" just like we don`t need perverts.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wilson

    Not all change or "progress" is for the better. I love how progressives jump on others for having a differing opinion, call them names, throw insults at them, tell them to move into the "21st" century, yet call any differing opinion "hate speech." Sounds like if someone is "liberal" or "progressive," they can also be labeled "hypocrites."

    January 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. redstate

    It is not unjust to hate someone`s immoral and perverted behavior.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Benjamin

    This is wonderfuls.. I just want to be able to walk base arm in arm with my guy.. drop into the officers club some sausage and biscuits without any drama.. just like everyone else.. I can't wait for the next officers club banquet.. Its gonna be fabulous 😉

    January 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |

      It's all about marine bovines pigging out at the smorgasboard isn't it? If the enemy shows up, he'll have to wait until desert is served. Perhaps with an after dinner mint. These hefers are a microcosm of the US military – bloated beyond recognition or useful purpose.

      January 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PJ

    Great!! The born agains must be going nuts.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stefan

    If it is a private club, their right to refuse membership must be protected. For the same reason I believe that we must protect the rights of Gay Americans, I believe we must protect the rights of a group like this.

    If they get a penny of public money it's different. But the article stated it is a private club. That is their decision – we can (and I will) think it's a bad decision, but I will respect their legal right to make it.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. KnowingTruth

    Does this bother anyone like it does me? Has anyone read their history books, to see what happens to nations/civilizations who choose to satisfy the desires of their hearts and lusts it posseses? Rather than to trust in our CREATORS word his truth, his perfect all pleasing will? Read Romans 12:2
    America wake up before its too late.... Just ask the Romans.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |

    I'm a veteran hot shot. And I didn't have to lose the weight of a small truck to get into my uniform either.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
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