Short hit of continuing improvement in the military. Via the AP:
The Marine Corps has advised its legal staff that spouses clubs operating on its installations must admit same-sex spouses if they wish to remain on the bases.You'll recall not terribly long ago, a same-sex spouse of a servicemember, Ashley Broadway, was denied admittance into North Carolina's Fort Bragg spouse club under spurious pretext. Angela Jean did a great job covering that story here. This is a situation that remains unresolved. But apparently the popular pushback against it made an impression. AP reports:
"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 memo said.
The Marine Corps commandant's Staff Judge Advocate, in an e-mail to legal offices throughout the corps, said the Fort Bragg events had "caused quite a stir" and cautioned, "We do not want a story like this developing in our backyard."So, if you were among those who stirred, consider the military culture shaken.
Stephen Peters of the gay spouses group American Military Partner Association is impressed:
"The Marine Corps putting its best foot forward is great news," he said. "They're being proactive about this."That's some real teeth behind that policy. Some clubs may not be housed on base, but this memo is a pretty clear directive from the top how they feel about exclusionary policies. On-base or not, the top brass make clear the Corps doesn't want such an unflattering story associated with their branch.
Peters said his organization would urge the Pentagon to implement a military-wide policy that would open all spouses clubs to same-sex spouses.
"You can't have different standards with the different branches," he said.
Well, good for the Marines. Commandant Gen. James F. Amos was one of the more vocal critics of DADT repeal before the bill passed.
And then when all was said and done he promised the Marines would lead the way. Promise fulfilled. I salute you, Gen. James F. Amos.