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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    First off women shouldn't be in the marine corps in the first place. Second they are not even hot. If you are going to do something like this then at least be hot.

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

      First, most women Marines I served with would kill you, and a good majority of them are attractive and fit. I'd trust them in a situation over you any day.

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

      I can't believe you would say this. You can't start a sentence with "first off" and then end it with "in the first place." It's redundant.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nick morales

    What has happened to my beloved Marine Corps? I'm glad I served when then the Corps stood for something.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Nothing has happened to the Marine Corp. They are constantly evolving and become better. The morale of your Marine is partially based on how your family is treated, especially when you are deployed. If you don't think the Marine Corp stands for anything now, you're wrong and misguided.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • dkwd

      it is called change. get use to it

      January 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Middle Aged Gay

    HAHAHAHAHA...you're a trip, Maddie...I mean Mattie.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wilson

    @gurgyl, I'm suprised your comment has been allowed to stay this long, considering your other comments disappeared real fast.

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

      @gurgyl, aaahhh yes, another comment that is not "pro-gay" was deleted. So much for first amendment rights.

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

      1st Amendment denies the GOVT from muzzling you not a Co.
      Come on you arent that dumb are you ?

      January 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • nc1965

      Well, most Americans believe in the 1st Amendment.

      What you only deem appropriate to post isn't a part of democracy.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. USMC 84-04

    Nick, you are correct, once again I remind you, they also prosecute Marines that commit adultery.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    wow, the Marine Corps just made the Army look like butt-hurt whiners. I'm a little shocked.

    I'm also an Army officer.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wilson

    Sorry, but science has proven that to be a false statement. Those that are not simply "choosing" the lifestyle, have a genetic disorder.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Poof

      Disorder??!?!!! WTH??

      January 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Danno

      Kinda like that defect that left you without a brain, Wilson?

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

      "disorder"? At least you recognize it is not normal.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      So it is a disorder...glad we clarified that.

      January 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PetePete1

    There is no room for this kind of behavior in the military,ANYONE who engages in this type of behavior should immediately get an dishonorable discharge.

    January 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      What type of behavior is that? Being married to someone they love, working their way up to Lt Col, expecting others to treat her spouse like everyone elses? Yeah, I guess your right, maybe we can get a pedophile in there who's sleeping with 12 yr old girls so they can be deemed normal under god's eyes.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • edofchattanoogatn

      Too bad bozos; you and your other fellow bigots have been defeated and will continue to be defeated. We are here and we will stay here; so get used to it !!!! There is nothing you can say or do to stop the Gay Community !!! TennesseeEd

      January 10, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      These people serve and die for their country too. They deserve ALL the same rights and dignities of ANY member of our military. They sacrifice a heck of a lot for a country who denies them their equal freedoms!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Captain Nemo

      "You don't need to be 'straight' to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight." – Barry Goldwater, famous left-wing socialist extremist (for the sarcasm impaired, that's sarcasm).

      January 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • geo

      I bet you wouldn't have the balls to walk up to this woman and say that to her face now would you? She would hopefully punch you in the throat.

      January 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    As aformer Marine I say who gives a crap what this women does on her private time, same goes for gays... just be ready to perform your duty the following day. What I do find offensve is this officiers appearance, Marines hold themselves to a higher standard and she is clearly over weight, start PT'ing more and less drinking and eating at the O club...SEMPER FI

    January 10, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • toydrum

      She's currently nine months pregnant and we don't know when that picture was taken.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • samarra

      An earlier article said she was pregnant and due in the next few weeks. That does tend to lead to weight gain.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • LT_USN

      Absolutely agree! Don't give a rats behind on what you do on your personal time but when you are an service member looking like that (out of standards), you NEED TO FIX IT...NOW!

      January 10, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • BeefCake

      "Former Marine"?? Once a Marine Always a Marine.......and Semper Fi teufel hunden.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Bob, I agree, that's not pregnancy fat, that's just being fat (I ran the Height/Weight program for my Marine Battalion for almost a year – I can tell the difference).

      But, unfortunately the Air Force has a different standard. Presumably as a LtCol she is over 30 years old – and the Air Force says she can be up to THIRTY-TWO PERCENT body fat and still be in standards.

      Semper Fi, chair force!

      January 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Curious

    Where's my post?

    January 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scott

    Good one Steve 🙂 I'll pass that one onto my youngest cousin. He was in the 1st Marine Division during Desert Storm.


    January 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. the_dude

    You'll never be able to force people to accept this. They will just form a new club and still exclude gays.

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

      And they are welcome to form any club they like, but if they have exclusionary polcies, they can't use base facilities.

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

      As long as it's off-base, Dude. It's a military thing, you wouldn't understand.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • edofchattanoogatn

      Well, maybe you are right; these sloth, narrow-minded, hateful bigots can form other clubs, but at least these seething self righteous bigots WILL NOT be able to have a club ON BASE that discriminates against the GAY COMMUNITY !!! I salute the military for standing up for GAY RIGHTS. Those who do not stand up for GAY RIGHTS should be dishonorably discharged from the military with no benefits !!!! It is high time the government takes a STRONG HAND in forcing people to respect the rights of EVERY AMERICAN !!! It was done concerning African-Americans and IT WILL BE DONE for the GAY COMMUNITY and other minority groups !!!! You just mark my words !!! TennesseeEd

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

      true, but most will stay with the on-base club since most are okay with allowing gays. Those that form the exclusive club can go off and grumble about those that stayed in the on-base club.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kit Sloane

    Bravo to the Marines. As a Navy captain's wife in the 70s, we were happy to include the "wife" of one of the wardroom officers. He was a great asset to the group, too.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. danny

    This is the DoD fault, the wishy washy government will not issue a gay or lesbian spouse a military because they are afraid they might not get the correct monetary support from special interest groups that control our senate and congress. This spouse's club is merely following their guidlines of not admitting anyone that does not have a military ID. Until our government grows some balls and actually does what it demands it's constiuients do these two should not have any legal basis to demand anything in the military.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Steve

    Scott, Here's one my Corpsman got me with.

    How does a sailor knock out a Marine? Throw sand on the wall and tell him to hit the beach.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • dkweed

      here is one I always liked when a marine would call me a squid. I said marine do you know what a squid is. a squid is something that swims in the ocean and craps all over marine life. oh the memories

      January 10, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
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