By Ashley Fantz, CNN
(CNN) - The Boy Scouts of America is considering changing its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, according to a news release from the organization.
The organization, which has 2.7 million members, is "potentially discussing" doing away with its national policy after months of protest, including hundreds of angry Eagle Scouts renouncing their hard-earned awards and mailing back their red-white-and-blue medals.
Many parents of Scouts across America found the national policy excluding gays confusing - and at odds with basic scouting ideals.
Social media were abuzz with outrage over the policy; gay men who used to be Scouts spoke out in first-person blogs. On her TV talk show, Ellen DeGeneres featured a California Scout who had been denied his Eagle rank because he is gay.
Members of the organization's national board are expected to bring up the issue at a regularly scheduled biannual meeting in February. Any change would be announced after that.
(CNN) - It apparently takes more than a few good men, according to the U.S. Marine Corps. It takes all kinds of people to support military families, including same-sex spouses of service members.
CNN published a story this week about a woman married to a female lieutenant colonel at Fort Bragg who believes she was rejected from an officers' spouse club because she's gay. Late Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary advised Marine Corps legal staff such clubs conducting business on its bases must admit same-same spouses. If they do not, the clubs will be barred from meeting on any Marine Corps installation.
Ary wrote that clubs cannot discriminate against any member because of "race, color, creed, sex, age, disability, or national origin. We would interpret a spouse's club's decision to exclude a same-sex spouse as sexual discrimination because the exclusion was based upon the spouse's sex."
Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Col. Jeffrey Sanborn, told CNN earlier this week that he could do nothing about Ashley Broadway's rejection by the Association of Bragg Officers' club because the group was private.
Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan, who provided a portion of the memo to CNN, said, "We expect that all who are interested in supporting Marine Corps Family Readiness would be welcome to participate and will be treated with dignity and respect."
(CNN) - For 15 years, Ashley Broadway has devoted her life to the military and to her spouse, an Army lieutenant colonel.
The former schoolteacher found a new job and made new friends each time she had to relocate bases, including a move to South Korea. When a deployment to the Middle East separated the couple, Broadway took care of the couple's young son, Carson, on her own.
Now at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and with a second child on the way, Broadway wanted to settle down and get to know more spouses like herself.
So she applied for membership to the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses.
"I thought, 'Here's a chance to make some close friends who would really understand me,' " Broadway said. "And I could get very active in events that help other families like mine. I was excited, really excited, to be a part of this group."
But the Bragg spouse club apparently didn't feel the same way. Broadway's married to Lt. Col. Heather Mack. The officers' spouse club didn't want her, she believes, because she's gay.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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