Another day, another gay soldier being vilified by the country she risks her life to defend. Actually, another and another today as well. [
box]Three California Marines have been charged with marrying for financial gain, accused of manipulating the military’s off-base housing program so a lesbian couple could live together, according to a woman at the center of the case.
Marine Cpl. Ashley Vice says she and two others have been charged with conspiracy, making false official statements, fraud and adultery for allegedly marrying to collect thousands in financial assistance offered by the military to heterosexual married couples.
Vice told CNN affiliate KGTV in San Diego that she wanted to live off base with her girlfriend, Jaime Murphy, as a couple. Murphy is a civilian.
So she says she found a Marine, Jeremiah Griffin, who agreed to marry her so she could receive the $1,200 per month living stipend the Marine Corps gives to married couples living off base.
Vice said she was questioned by the Marine Corps about the living arrangements.
“I honestly didn’t even try to hide it,” she said. “I just said this is what’s going on. They asked me who Jaime is … I told them.”
“There’s no conspiracy here,” Murphy told KGTV. “There’s no trying to steal from anybody. We just wanted to be together and she wanted to serve her country.”
Vice and the two others face up to a year in prison if convicted on all counts. They also face the possibility of a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all pay.
Yet another injustice suffered by LGBT soldiers in our country. Heterosexual men and women are eligible for an extra $1200 dollars a month and receive permissions to live off-base, while gay soldiers in loving, longterm relationships stand accused of fraud and conspiracy for seeking access to the same benefits.
While we agree that Vice and Murphy pulled one over on the Marine Corps, we hardly think they are criminals here. They simply found a loophole to take advantage of the exact benefits awarded to their heterosexual colleagues that would otherwise be denied to them. There is no crime here, but rather, a system that openly discriminates against LGBT soldiers.
Unfortunately for the ladies, the matter will most likely be settled in a military court.
Why is this still happening?