An update to the story about an athletic club recently accused of denying a same-sex couple with a two-year old access to the club’s swimming pool.
Roanoke Athletic Club, a gym that is owned by the regional medical provider Carilion Clinic, has changed its policy, based on a statement released on the Carilion Clinic Facebook page.
A petition circulated online garnered almost 80,000 signatures in a few days.
An excerpt addressing the membership changes reads as follows:
“In keeping with this goal, and in recognition of the many contemporary households that can benefit from our facilities through discounted membership fees, we are pleased to announce that we have expanded our Family Membership into a new Household Membership with the following criteria:
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.
Club dues will not change; dues for the Household Membership will be the same as the Family Membership it is replacing. There is no requirement to amend your membership, but should this change be advantageous to you, please contact our sales office. If we may answer any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
We thank you for your continued patronage and will never take that for granted.
With sincerest thanks,
Bud Grey, VP, CC
Will Trinkle, a real estate agent, applied for a membership at the club on May 15. According to thenewcivilrightsmovement.com, he and his partner Juan Granados wanted to take their 2-year-old son Oliver Trinkle-Granados to the gym’s outdoor pool during the summer months.
However, club policy states only children on family membership plans are allowed to use the pool. When Trinkle tried to sign up for a family plan his application was initially accepted and processed, listing him, his same sex partner, and their child as members.
Nine days later, a representative from the gym contacted Trinkle and told him that his application was processed by mistake. A representative for the company told Trinkle that the Roanoke Athletic Club was complying with Virginia state law, which does not recognize same sex marriage.
The move by Carilion has put many at odds with the company, the healthcare provider operates seven hospitals in Southwest Virginia, more than 150 other medical practice sites, and a new high-profile medical school that recently launched in partnership with Virginia Tech.