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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

    Not news....

    January 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. JohnC

    yes, I agree with our argment that we should never have allowed mixed race marriage because of the slippery slope that then emboldened gays to eventually ask for the right. I have nothing against mixed raced marriages in themselves but clearly one must limit rights if you see any chance of those rights spreading yet further.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wolf

    That's a faulty slippery slope. Children and animals are incapable of providing legal consent, so it's not even close to the same thing.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cherries

    *rolls eyes*

    January 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. chunk a chunk

    Man, another bad day for gay-haters.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. sobach

    Once again, Marines lead the way 😛

    January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Atheist Libertarian

    There is no invisible sky fairy @ all you christians. Other Americans don't have to live by the rules in your invisible sky fairy guide book either. Stay out of the lives of others.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • LID

      Prove it.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |

    Let'S face the facts people, the human race would become extinct if we were gay. Anything that would cause a species to die off can and should be considered as unnatural. How can one deny that fact?

    With that said, I could not care less what people choose to do with their own lives. But why do they have to try to convince the world that it is perfectly normal and natural? It is acceptable, but it is not natural.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Atheist Libertarian

      If you couldn't care less....why make the post bashing them? Let them live their life. It's not your business.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnC

      being gay is not normal in the sense that it is an outlier on the bell curve of humans but we have countless other examples of that (being very tall, short, infertile heteros, lactose intolerant, etc. All of these are not normal but quite natural. Not being normal does often have some disadvantages (tall people can't fit in many cars and infertile people can't bear children) and sometimes not normal people have advantages. But all this is quite different than being wrong. You can't ban something just because it offends you or we would have to ban all sorts of strange food, music, tatoos, and people with really really big noses.

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

      So is a women who can't have children due to cancer treatment "unnatural"? A sterile man? Ability to reproduce is not the only criteria for being "natural" , and something else" bigotry and hatred isn't natural either, it may be common but it is not natural.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

      "...the human race would become extinct..."

      Explain how that's a bad thing.

      "Anything that would cause a species to die off can and should be considered as unnatural."

      So you consider things such as disease, meteorite impacts, volcanic eruptions, etc. to be unnatural? Or were you just NOT THINKING when you posted your little morality lecture? One can guess what the answer to that second question is...

      January 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wilson

    I wonder, is this site really considered "private?"

    January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Yoni Levi

      It's privately owned... therefore their rules apply.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. retired

    How is she in the service. They both look a little large to meet the height and weight.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. blf83

    It's a good thing a genuine leader has some good sense. This should not have been an issue.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. LizardMom

    AAAWWW....they look like such a nice couple.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jane

    Just because you force this group to legally invite you, does not mean they accept you. So, why would you want to be where you are obviously unwanted? Just to prove that you can? Gays, Lesbians and Transgendered can change all the laws they want. This will not change the minds of those who do not approve of their lifestyles; but instead by being forced to accept something which they do not want... it merely entrenches the disdain and disgust. So, what do you really win?... the right to be present in a place where the other members do not want or accept you.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Thats the same thing white people said about the civil rights movement and last time I checked that turned out pretty well....Everything begins with the first step and this is the first step....

      January 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles

      Well said Jane.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Better said, Bill.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Semour

      It's easier to change things from the inside than it is from the outside. Once in, you now have the opportunity to help change people's perceptions. It all boils down to, we all bleed red.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Observer


    Do heteros engage in anything that is "digusting"? Keep the ignorant hypocrisy coming. Well done.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    God doesn't exist, and you are just an as_hole bigot if you want to restrict the rights of those that are different from you.

    January 10, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
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