Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Well Done, Marines.

Between the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the rise of legal same-sex marriages, there's a new group of people wanting to join the family and spouse groups that exist on US military bases around the globe: the same-sex spouse. Evidently, not every spouses' club out there is thrilled with this new development. Back in December, such a club at the Army's Fort Bragg refused to allow the female spouse of a female Lt. Col. join. I keep envisioning poor Rudolph being kicked out of the reindeer games.

Well, the Marine Corps is having none of that. From the top down comes the order that spouses' clubs at every Marine base had better accept same-sex spouses if those clubs want to continue operating on base. Amen to that.

Fort Bragg and the Army have yet to take any action to address the exclusion of same-sex spouses. Here's hoping the Army and all other branches of the military follow the Marine Corps' lead and make it clear that same-sex spouses are to be included in any clubs or organizations that receive support from the armed forces. That the military itself was allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians for so long is a disgrace. We have fortunately put that ugly era behind us. Let's not allow some residual discrimination to linger around the edges by tolerating intolerant family organizations and spouses' clubs.


BellsforStacy said...

Spouses clubs were allowed to discriminate against male members until about ten years ago. And spouses clubs now are just a bastion of wrong wrong wrong. They abuse money, status, and the women in charge often flaunt their husbands rank and lord it over people and can actually get their spouse kicked out of the military.

They can be a force for good helping families get services (their main charter I think) and support while the active duty is deployed, and doing philanthropy in the neighborhood, but my mother, being a leader of several of these groups and being active in them my entire life ... well I've heard all the yuck stories. Those clubs are not always inclusive and the bad ones - of which there are many - are not worth being in. Regardless of your gender or orientation.

BellsforStacy said...

Also, just to share what she's telling me now ... is the best thing to happen to spouses needing support is facebook. They can get on their group pages and ask for support and folks actually volunteer to help with moving services, babysitting, and other odd jobs. And they don't have to deal with the catty bull shit.

S said...

Thanks for sharing your insider knowledge. For the record, excluding men would have infuriated me as much as excluding same-sex spouses. The idea of excluding any spouse seems counter to the entire idea of a spouses' club.

It's sad to think that not all the clubs out there are actually supportive, inclusive, safe places for spouses to come together.

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