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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    during Christmasp people in gay bars can say Merry Christmas to one another and sing carols about Jesus's birth together while anthing related to Christ is not recommended elsewhere nationwide.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer


      Christmas is the height of HYPOCRISY for many Christians. That's when the "Gift of the Magi" was gold and TWO ABOMINATIONS.

      "Incense is an ABOMINATION" – God

      January 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Observer


    So GROW UP and show some appreciation for what our military people are doing for our nation.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |

    I'm sorry. I should have realized the great contribution these two are making. Like being a shield for real soldiers. Like making sure the rest of the troops have less to eat and remain fit and trim. Like tilting the planet so all the ammunition can slide downhill to their unit.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Observer


    Still stumped about whether heteros engage in "perverted" activities?

    Keep up the HYPOCRISY.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wilson

    I see the Liberal, Progressives are still activing the provervial "hypocrites." Not tolerating any opinion but their own. Labeling other's comments as "hate speech," while calling these same commenters names and throwing insults at them.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      And hence the reason I call the komrade libs, libocrites. Pathetic, isn't it.


      January 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      That is because the "hypocrit progressives" viewpoint does not involve depriving anybody else of their own rights, whereas YOUR viewpoint does.

      For bigots like you to allow gay people their guaranteed rights has NO IMPACT on your life whatsoever.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Yes, Scott. You are very pathetic.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott


      It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. You toss the bait into the water and the komrade libs, e.g. Fr33th1nk3r, show their true intolerant colors. 🙂


      January 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • caiasward

      You have all the right to your opinion.

      We have all the right to call you out on your uninformed opinion. BTW, the 1st Amendment applies to the government's restrictions on speech, not what a private company decides what to do with their message board.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Looks like the replies to this comment completely reinforce what Wilson said. Hateful comments and names directed at Wilson because of his/her differing opinion.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Wilson

    @Gurgyl, haven't you learned by now that very shortly your post will be deleted, "reported as abuse," by all the "tolerant" gay people?

    January 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Proud USAF Wife

    Oooorah! Marines

    January 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Observer


    His ignorant remarks should be left up for examples.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wilson

    @Observer, I agree, but from what I've seen on here today, his/her and several others just keep getting reported as "abuse" and disappear, while I've noticed that several "pro-gay" postings have been much less "tolerant" with much more name calling and insults, left up.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gurgyl

    I see the "tolerant" gays are still being hypocrites. No opinion allowed except theirs.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Yup, typical of the komrade libs.


      January 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      The gays' opinion is that they should receive the same rights as everyone else. Your opinion is that we should deeprive someone else of their rights.

      It is quite clear whose opinion is the more valid one and that should be acted upon.

      Give gay people their way, and it has no effect on you. Give morons like yourself their way, and it directly impacts someone else's ability to pursue their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxwell

      One does not need to tolerate intolerance.

      January 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Silence Dogood

    We've had these same discussions both in 1942 when African Americans were officially admitted into the Marines, and 1948 when women were also fully admitted into the Marines. Why should we fear or alienate anyone willing to defend the stars and strips?

    January 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC

      Where is the like button!!!!

      January 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • @DemoPubliTarian

      Yes, to have to fight for your right to defend freedom that ostricizes you?? Thats some stout commitment

      January 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Right on.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • e-vangelist

      rule sez women and men have separate barrack and shower. If gay allowed to have barrack and shower with people they attracted to, what about straights? let us ahve a free for all. other alternative is single room with shower for all servicemen.

      dont expect anyone to answer this. they just ignore. more example of special treatment of g@ys

      January 10, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    I'm glad you're retired too. And once you pass like the dinosaurs our country will be the better for it.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. USMC

    I am Glad YOU are retired also. I guess you beleive throwing Acid on the faces of young women is ok also.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darrell

    Barely legal and already destroying morale. Figures.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Yeah. Except that moral hasn't been impacted at all (suprise suprise). Except for that of bigots. They are a little depressed.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dave

    I would tell them to take their club and their corp and shove it.

    January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
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