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Three Marines Discharged for Faking Marriages to Provide Lesbian Couple with Housing Allowance

The L.A. Times reports that three gay Marines have been discharged for "bad conduct" over sham marriages so they could receive housing allowances meant for heterosexual married Marines, and live together off-base.

Murphy_viceThe Marines -- two men and a woman -- were assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and based at Camp Pendleton. The fourth person in the sham marriages is a civilian and thus untouchable by military law, officials said. Cpl. Ashley Vice and her partner, civilian Jaime Murphy, said they needed the housing allowances so they could afford to live together in an off-base apartment "like a normal couple."

Vice and Murphy each found a male Marine willing to marry them so that they could get the $1,200 a month housing allowance meant for married Marines, officials said. Along with the bad-conduct discharges, Vice, Cpl. Jeremiah Griffin and Cpl. Joseph Garner (the men they married) were each fined $5,000 and sentenced to confinement from three to six months. The three pleaded guilty to stealing from the government through fraud.

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  1. Well, a man and woman enter sham marriages daily, yet still get marriage benefits. The divorce rate was above 50% (until the economy went bad and people chose not to go through divorce proceeding for financial reasons), yet straight couples are still not questioned in their motivations to why they marry and are given benefits. One may not approve of what they did, but the bottom line is DOMA is a farce and horrible discrimination.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 18, 2011 9:13:35 AM


  2. It actually doesn't say that the men were gay too.

    Though it would explain why they did it. There was really no reason for anyone but the female Marine to marry a man. What were they going to do when one of them got stationed somewhere else?

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 18, 2011 9:25:46 AM


  3. Not sure how a legally valid marriage constitutes a "sham" - there is nothing about getting married that requires you to sleep with your spouse.

    This sort of puts the lie to the "gay people have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex as everyone else" idiocy, doesn't it?

    Posted by: Lymis | Oct 18, 2011 9:34:55 AM


  4. Nor is there anything that claims you need to love your spouse, either. If it did, I'd bet half of all hetero marriages would need to be legally dissolved.

    Posted by: luminum | Oct 18, 2011 9:45:05 AM


  5. well the failure of the military to offer the same benefits to same sex couple the same benefits as straight couples is to blame. are gay troops less likely to have to put their lives on the line than straight ones. why must they be forced to lie to get what they are entitled to.

    Posted by: walter | Oct 18, 2011 9:52:12 AM


  6. Actually, if two heterosexual marines were found to enter into a sham wedding to get some sort of benefit, and it could be proven, the operative word being "proven", they would also be prosecuted.

    This is what the government does when straight U.S. citizen marries an international so that international can get a green card.

    The pathetic thing is that by denying gay service members due process, that is the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts, they provoke these people into extreme measures.

    Our government should be put on trial for a sham constitution that after more than 200 years they have yet to uphold its values.

    Frankly I do not understand why any gay man or woman would want to risk their lives for this pathetic country. In any case, with the repeal of DADT, with marriage equality beginning to be recognized, and the constitutionality of DOMA being scrutinized, it is really sad that these marines made such a stupid move.

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 18, 2011 9:56:17 AM


  7. Not a great way to go about changing that policy.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 18, 2011 10:16:37 AM


  8. I can just hear the bleating from opponents of repeal of DADT saying what repeal will lead to, among other things. Just what we need right now!

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Oct 18, 2011 10:40:21 AM


  9. About. Face!

    Posted by: Jack M | Oct 18, 2011 10:41:11 AM


  10. why not gay men and gay women marry each other in the meantime to get the service benefits?

    Posted by: Gay American | Oct 18, 2011 10:58:18 AM


  11. The military is full of "sham" marriages and the majority are different sex marriages. You can go to any military town and find young girls throwing them selves on soldiers to get the housing, extra pay and the guys just want to a way to live off base. And I have witnessed senior military that while they were deployed their "marriage" was put on hold so they could play around while in foreign ports......it was the "oh my wife understands i have needs" excuse. This is a clear DOUBLE STANDARD!

    Posted by: Major707 | Oct 18, 2011 11:13:33 AM


  12. I seem to remember that there was a relatively recent scandal about straight sham marriage in the armed services; I don't think it was about the Marines, though.

    Let me see if I can find it.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Oct 18, 2011 1:19:38 PM


  13. OK, here's one of those stories that I heard about (this one involves immigration) but there may be more

    http://hamptonroads.com/2008/04/33-charged-sham-marriages-benefits

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Oct 18, 2011 1:21:35 PM


  14. This strikes me as profoundly unjust. The gay couples were merely trying to have the same rights as straight couples, and now some of the parties will be confined for several months?!?!? Deeply, deeply wrong.

    It reminds me a bit of the scenes about miscegenation in "Show Boat." A married man and woman are suddenly arrested and forced to separate because it is determined that the woman (Julie) has black blood, while the man (Steve) is white, and interracial marriage was illegal at that time and place. Julie had been able to pass as white. She and Steve were punished for trying to have the same rights as everyone else. Of course, the crime there was *the law itself*.

    Lymis's comment above is excellent.

    Posted by: appalled | Oct 18, 2011 7:12:01 PM


  15. I didnt know there was a law stating married couples had to be in love or a law stating that married couples could not have open relationships. Its only "fraud" because the military wants to have a double standard. They should sue the military.

    Posted by: Drew Murray | Oct 18, 2011 8:30:42 PM


  16. This kind of thing really ticks me off...

    Should a person follow the letter of the law or the spirit of the law?

    If we are to follow the letter of the law, then nobody here did anything wrong. As the anti-equality forces are fond of pointing out, there is no orientation test for an opposite-sex marriage.

    And if we are to follow the spirit of the law, then we should marry the person we love.

    So which is it? I'm asking you, Mr. / Ms. Social Conservative? Are we to follow the letter of the law, the spirit of the law, or shrivel up and die so you can live your live without ever having to deal with someone who is different than you?

    Posted by: DN | Oct 18, 2011 11:03:03 PM


  17. to this day, i know several people still in the military who are in 'fake' marriages for either the extra money and/or just to move out of the barracks

    Posted by: jeremy | Oct 18, 2011 11:15:46 PM


  18. I know people who married or got pregnant so they could avoid being deployed.

    There are many many sham marriages by heterosexuals, and nothing is done about it. As one of the earlier posts pointed out, there are girls who hound young soldiers, marrying them for the benefits, and the military does nothing to curtail these sham marriages.

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 18, 2011 11:47:29 PM


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