“Who on Earth would kick a 2-year-old and two caring parents out of a pool?” – Apparently the operators of a certain Virginia club. Operators at the Roanoke Athletic Club in Roanoke, Virginia denied access to Will Trinkle, Juan Granados, and their two-year-old son after they realized that the parents were in a gay relationship. Roanoke native Mark Lynn Ferguson was outraged after hearing this story and started a Change.org petition that collected more than 35,000 signatures to demand that the facility opens its pool to LGBT families.
This is what happens when equality is denied: caring citizens stand up for their neighbors to guarantee that their rights are protected.
Pressure is being mounted on the organization to change its practices so that it may respect all of its customers and their families. The sheer number of petitioners is a testament to our country’s realization that family equality is important and valuable to our communities.
Read below for an excerpt from the WisconsinGazette.com story:
More than 35,000 petitioners are demanding the operators of a Virginia club open its pool to gay families.
The Change.org petitioners want the Carilion Clinic, which owns the Roanoke Athletic Club in Roanoke, Va., to guarantee access to children with gay parents after it stripped a family of its membership.
Roanoke native Mark Lynn Ferguson launched the campaign after reading a news report about the club’s decision to bar the 2-year-old son of Will Trinkle and Juan Granados from swimming in the club pool.
“Folks in Roanoke are good-hearted and fair-minded, so I was just horrified when I heard how Carilion treated this family,” stated Ferguson. “I kept thinking, ‘Who on Earth would kick a 2-year-old and two caring parents out of a pool?’ You just don’t see stuff like that in Roanoke.”
Trinkle, at a press conference, said the club ban felt like a stomach punch.
“It’s from a place we couldn’t imagine that there would be this kind of discrimination and this kind of attack,” he said. “We have come a long way, but this shows we still have a long way to go.”
The club controversy developed after Trinkle registered under a family plan and paid a membership fee. Then the gay dads brought their son to go swimming. They were refused access and lost their membership because, according to the petition, the club defines family as “a husband, wife and children under 25 living at home.”
Trinkle and Granados are suing the club, alleging a breach of contract.
Club representatives have declined to comment, citing the litigation. . . .
Update: The petition has reached over 100,000 signatures AND the family has been given its right to swim in the pool!