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 The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed in 2011, allowing members who are gay and lesbian to be open about their sexuality without facing legal rebuke.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

Post by:
Filed under: Marines
soundoff (434 Responses)
  1. Atheist Libertarian

    To all you clueless christians.....

    You base everything you say on your invisible sky fairy and the mythology in your invisible sky fairy guide book. To begin with an increasing number of intelligent people don't believe in or worship invisible creatures anymore. Nobody cares what was said in some particular verse of the invisible sky daddy guide book. Please, grow a brain, and face reality. There is no sky fairy named god, and no pink unicorns. Your whole life is a lie, and you had better deal with that before worrying about gays.

    Next, what other people do, who they choose to love, and who they choose to fV<k, is none of your business. Worry about yourself.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ Athiest Libertarian

      "increasing number" is another fancy term for "we're still a tiny minority."

      January 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taron

      Talk about tolerance, you're just set on bashing anyone who doesn't believe the same as you.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TC

    Straight couples don't engage in all of the same behaviors? What an odd idea.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joe d

    women let alone lesbians have no place in the field of battle ...what a joke this country has become...

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

      i really doubt that...

      January 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • rATL

      HAHA she's probably more man than you!

      January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • LR

      Oh please tell me that you have served our country in some branch of the military joe....? Because if you haven't then shut your stupid mouth. If you're not willing to do it then you have no right to make horrible comments against those who are. And if you have served then – 1) thank you for your service, sincerely; and 2) my lesbian sister is in the Army and fortunately she has encountered no one that thinks the way you do. They all respect and depend on her, and she does the same with them. On the battlefield no soldier with a gun is a joke.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Awesome

      Joe D is probably one of those guys who claims to support the military, but then completely disrespects the sacrifice and service of this SOLDIER simply because she is gay. Way to go, Joe D.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Sorry, Joe D,
      I was on staff at MCRD and at 29 Palms over 20 years ago and many women at both places could whomp most men. There was one particular hetero, married, smart as hell, woman marine who was a gunny when I came to base and a full LT when I left. She stood 5' 2" in combat boots. Hell, I wouldn't want to tackle her in a lit alley let alone a dark alley. From what I've seen since then, women in the armed forces can more than equal men. It comes to the old adage of having to prove themselves, twice as hard and twice as long. Of course it's not for all women just as the Marine Corps is not for all men. I had to discharge quite a few men who just couldn't even meet the standards of starting at boot camp, let alone become a full-fledged Marine. Don't knock the WM's until you've been with them.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gurgyl

    It seems that when you call it what it is, "-------," the gays find the truth of what they do disgusting (when it is pointed out to them) and have the posts deleted. If you find the truth of what you do disgusting, then maybe it is not right??? Maybe you should not be doing it?

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


      So do heteros engage in "disgusting" things too?

      Are you still COMPELTELY STUMPED?

      January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      typo: COMPLETELY

      January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oneironaut

      Paranoid of you to think that gay people are so all-powerful that they can root out some of the posts and comments they don't like, but let some of these bigoted comments stay. I guess it's all about YOU.

      And silly of you to think that not only is love disgusting, but it's only disgusting once that is pointed out to them. Like, "Oh, you're right! This is gross after all!". What a strange world you live in.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MembersOnly

    The pretty one can be admitted, the homely one cannot.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sparky

    Well done, Marines!

    January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jenia

    I am not surprised. Military spouses (some not all) can be the most uppity group of people. I don't see why she would even bother trying to get back in to this group of pompous wannabes that think they share their spouses rank therefore can rule over others. And I am a military spouse.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dancing Baptist

    I look forward to the first gay Drill Instructor... "Make your buddy smile" will take on a whole new meaning.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    Every member of the Officers' Spouse Club at Fort Bragg should have their own Military ID's revoked and recalled, PERMANENTLY. They should never be allowed to enter any military installation, for any any purpose, again.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chad

    I'm curious how the members of the club will react. They aren't legally required to personally approve of their membership (eve if their opinion has no impact on the administration's decision).

    January 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    No problem. It's OK. Anything goes these days, right?

    January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • burbanktj

      You are right, it is no problem and it is okay. You should've stopped while you were ahead.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kadie1

    A government employer, meeting on government property,available to other government employees is bound by law to admit her. Cannot believe anyone can think otherwise.

    January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jonat

    It's not ignorant when it's a fact... it's politically incorrect, do you know the difference?

    January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. I don't really care

    The federal government does not recognize gay marriage, and neither does the US armed forces. They are only recognized by the state that they were married in, if they were to move to a different state they may not be able to have the actual benefits of a married couple. In my opinion, if they want that federal right, then start with the over all federal government benefits such as medical or taxes. Once you get the big fight won, the small fights will just fall in line. I would not start at "an on post club won't let me hang out", but guess you have to start where you can. This seems like something to get some self notoriety then actually fixing her actual situation..

    January 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      You're absolutely right about the source of the problem. And yes, it has to start somewhere, this just probably isn't the right place to start it.

      January 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FormerMarine

    When is the next end of the world date again?

    January 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14