I am very proud of my service with the United States Army, but I have always recognized the role of the United States Marine Corps to provide a beachhead -- and they've done it again.
Stars and Stripes announced on January 9 that the Marine Corps has advised its legal staff that spouse clubs operating on its installations must admit same-sex spouses if they wish to remain on the bases. I, for one, applauded. Just as I did when the president removed the provisions for Don't Ask Don't Tell and just as I will when every state, and ultimately the DoD, recognizes the civil right of marriage between same-sex couples allowing for surviving spouses to receive the same dependent benefits afforded heterosexual couples.
There is nothing in this ruling that requires any religious entity to recognize marriages, only that on base, the United States Marine Corps is committed to providing the same services and opportunities for all who are attached to the Corps regardless of religion, race, gender or sexual preference. What matters most is that those who love those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for an at times ungrateful or ignorant nation are afforded the same opportunities for support across the board.
This is not an issue that should be viewed as liberal or conservative -- because who you love should not determine your political viewpoint. It is not an issue that in any way has anything to do with political correctness; it has only to do with basic tenants of our country's founding philosophy around liberty and equality. We hold these truths to be self-evident, and the USMC agrees.
I hope, just like we have in many battles and wars fought in the name of our country, that the rest of our Armed Forces and the rest of our nation can follow the lead of the United States Marines.