The Marine Corps on Wednesday advised
spouses clubs that they must admit the spouses of gay service members
as a condition to remain on base, the AP
The Marines are the first service
branch to issue such an advisory following the repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell.”
The announcement comes as the Army
grapples with what to do over an officers' spouses club in North
Carolina which has denied admission to a lesbian spouse.
“We do not want a story like this
developing in our backyard,” the Marine Corps commandant's Staff
Judge Advocate said in an email to legal offices throughout the
“We would interpret a spouses club's
decision to exclude a same-sex spouse as sexual discrimination
because the exclusion was based upon the spouse's sex,” the email
read in part.
Allyson Robinson, executive director of
OutServe-SLDN, which represents LGBT troops, applauded the move.
“The Marine Corps guidance issued
today is a breakthrough and a clear indication that General [James]
Amos meant what he said when he promised Marines would lead the
repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'” she said in an email to
supporters. “Secretary [Leon] Panetta should use his authority
immediately to bring consistency across the services with regard to
this issue and in doing so, a greater measure of equity to gay and
lesbian service members and their families.”
The ongoing Army incident involves
Ashley Broadway, the wife of Fort Bragg-based Lt. Col. Heather Mack.
In an appearance on CNN, Broadway said she was denied admittance into
the club because she does not have a military issued ID card. The
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) does not permit the military to
recognize Mack's marriage to Broadway.