Laws that cover the marriage and divorce of same-sex couples vary from state to state. In California alone there is significant inconsistency in the treatment of lesbian and gay couples depending on the year in which two individuals sought to enter into marriage. The inconsistency runs from the lowest levels of government to the top, which is why legal counsel should be sought for important decisions such as combining finances or child custody.
For one military spouse, she had enough with the inconsistency in treatment. Even though the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed, the military treats the spouses of these soldiers differently. Under military law, the wives of enlisted soldiers get certain military benefits. One of these benefits is access to the officers’ spouse club, entry to which she was denied for not having a military ID card — something that same-sex spouse’s are not granted.
After the military wife’s application to join was denied by the private organization, she spoke out. In response, the club offered her a “special guest membership” to the organization, stating that the policy does not “explicitly” require that a military ID be presented in order to join the organization. The woman said that this special membership was “not only offensive, but just plain hurtful.”
This past week, the Marine Corps attempted to create resolution by ordering that all private clubs located on Marine bases much allow entry to same-sex spouses. The legal memo issued by the Marine Corps paralleled the rights protected under federal laws that “no person shall be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, age, disability, or national origin or otherwise subjected to unlawful discrimination.”
Source: LA Times, “Lesbian military spouse rejects club’s offer to be ‘special guest,'” David Zucchino, Jan. 18, 2013