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 first reported.

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 corps.

“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.