Lesbian Marine, 2 Others Discharged for Faking Marriages
Three San Diego Marine corporals have been discharged for bad conduct after admitting they faked their marriages to receive housing allowances.
The three pleaded guilty to stealing from the government through fraud at a special court martial, 1st Lt. Maureen Dooley, a Marine spokeswoman, said Monday.
In the scheme, Cpl. Ashley Vice, who is a lesbian, and her girlfriend, civilian Jaime Murphy, pretended to be married to two male Marines, Cpl. Jeremiah Griffin and Cpl. Joseph Garner.
As a result, they got a $1,200 monthly housing stipend meant for married Marines to live off base.
Vice has previously said in media coverage that she and her partner were forced to enter sham marriages because they couldn't afford to live off base without the extra money.
The military doesn't provide allowances for unmarried couples, Vice said.
Despite the repeal of the military's ban against openly gay or lesbian members, same-sex couples, even if married, would not be eligible for benefits because federal law defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
The three Marines were assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton. In addition to discharge, they face $5,000 in fines. Vice will also serve three months' confinement.
The discharges were first reported by the Los Angeles Times.