When Marine Corps commandant's Staff Judge Advocate heard about the broohaha at Fort Bragg regarding same sex spouses being denied admission to a spouse club, he decided to do something. In a surprisingly progressive move, he sent out an e-mail to legal offices around the nation, warning them that he did not want the same thing to happen in their own "backyard."
The Marines call themselves "The few. The proud," for a reason. It's because they adhere to a high standard of excellence. They pride themselves of being tougher than the other branches. And now, they can pride themselves on being more tolerant toward those who identify as LGBT.
Spouse clubs aren't officially a part of the military branches they serve, however, they're often established on the bases. The Marines have a strict non-discrimination policy that prohibits denial into the club based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, or national origin. The memo described the denial of a member based on their status as a same-sex spouse constitutes sexual discrimination.
It's rather ironic that it's the Marine Corps taking this first step toward equality to gays and lesbians in the military. After all, this was the branch that was most disturbed and apprehensive of the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. To have this very same branch admonish independent clubs to admit same-sex spouses if they want to continue operating on military bases is an amazing turnabout and a promising development in the new era of tolerance toward differentness in the military.
Stephen Peters of the American Military Partner Association, which advocates for same sex partners, is pleased with the Marines' decision, but now said his focus is on the Pentagon. He has said that the Pentagon should implement a similar policy across all branches, rather than having each branch set its own standards, to ensure equality across the board.