Earlier this summer, Corporal Ashley Vice and her civilian girlfriend, Jaime Murphy, were busted by the Marines for entering into fraudulent marriages in order to secure military housing allowances reserved for heterosexual married servicemembers. Vice, along with Corporals Jeremiah Griffin and Joseph Garner–who married the two women—was officially discharged from the Marines on Monday, and subject to $5,000 in fines and confinement in an unannounced location for three months.
It’s a tricky situation all around. Clearly the Armed Forces policy about granting housing allowances discriminates against gays and lesbians, even those in states where they can legally wed. But is fraud the answer?
Even if you allow that economic hardship forced Vice into marrying Griffin for the $1,200 monthly stipend, was it necessary for Murphy to get married as well? It’s estimated the women netted somewhere in the neighborhood of $75,000. (Though they may have had to split that with their “husbands.”)
When does circumventing an unjust system become flat-out greed?