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Marines: Admit same-sex spouses to clubs

Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps said spouses clubs at all bases must admit same-sex spouses after an Army club denied membership to the wife of a female lieutenant.

Marine Corps legal teams issued a memo warning against discrimination based on sexual orientation, specifically mentioning an incident in the Army at Fort Bragg, N.C., as the kind of situation they hope to avoid, NBC News reported.

Members of the Fort Bragg spouses organization prevented Ashley Broadway, the new wife of Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack, from joining the group, allegedly because she is a lesbian.

"We do not want a story like this developing in our backyard," said Capt. Eric Flanagan, a Marine Corps spokesman, who said the Army spouses club ban on Broadway spurred the Marines to issue an order before a similar incident happened in the Marines.

"The order was pretty much using [the Fort Bragg events] as an example to clarify our policy. We stated that the policy is to be non-discriminatory," he added.

The Marine order did not help Broadway gain membership to the Army officers spouses club, but she commended Marine officials "for being able to take a look and really think about what is going on, and basically realizing that, hey, we've got same-sex Marines that are married, and we need to support their families.

"I would probably say the Navy would follow suit and then the Air Force and the Army will take a look and say, you know what, this is the right thing," Broadway added. "As a loyal Army wife, I would have liked to have seen it from my own branch first. But hey, I'm very excited for my Marine brothers and sisters."

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