Virginia swim club changes policy in wake of lawsuit filed by gay couple

Roanoke Athletic Club will now allow 'household' memberships

Virginia swim club changes policy in wake of lawsuit filed by gay couple
06 July 2012

The Roanoke Athletic Club in Virginia, currently being sued by a gay couple who had their family membership revoked, posted on its Facebook page Thursday (5 July) that it is changing its policy to include ‘household’ memberships

Will Trinkle and Juan Granados, who joined the club with their 2-year-old son through a family membership, were called nine days later by a club employee who told them a mistake had been made. They say they were told the state of Virginia does not consider them to be a real family.

They are suing the club for breach of contract.

The club does not say in its Facebook post that a same-sex couple and their children are a family. Instead, it defines who will be allowed to join under the household membership plan: ‘A household consists of a primary member and up to one additional household member that permanently lives in the household, and any of their dependent children under the age of 22 who also reside in the household on a permanent basis. … Dues for the Household Membership will be the same as the Family Membership it is replacing.’

Several commentors on Facebook aren’t impressed with the company’s policy change.

Writes Mark Dietrich: ‘Another company publicly shamed into reluctantly providing equal access. However, the subtle anti-gay rhetoric is clear: Gay families aren’t "families" but "households". SEPARATE BUT EQUAL.’

Adds Jeff Prince: ‘Change is good and applauded, but employing individuals who would ever think it was appropriate to kick a child out of a swimming pool because he has two fathers.’

Others like Amy Sarah Marshal are happy for the change no matter what the motivation: ‘Good job. Thank you for changing your policy.’

It is not known if Trinkle and Granados will continue to pursue their lawsuit. They argue that the revocation of their membership was a breach of contract and in violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

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