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Austrian Theme Park Takes Lesbian Family For A Ride

It’s a world of tears for a lesbian couple who tried to buy  tickets to an Austrian theme park: They were turned down for a discount because they weren’t considered a family.

At Klagenfurt’s Minimundus, an outdoor park featuring scale versions of some of the world’s greatest architectural feats, a lesbian couple and their two kids were told they had to pay full price instead of the reduced-rate family ticket advertised on the park’s website, the Austrian Times reports.

The discount, available for “a father and/or mother with their own children,” came to 4 Euro (about $5).

Theme park director Hannes Guggenberger explained it was “obvious” the couple did not meet the requirements, and family recognition is decided upon by the Austrian government: “We don’t want to discriminate against anybody, but it’s out of our hands,” Guggenberger told the Times.

The women paid the full fare and went into the park, where they proceeded to climb the Empire State Building and act out a lesbian version of King Kong.

By:           Sharyn Jackson
On:           Jul 23, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • Alex
      Alex

      “with their own children.” Two adults this requirement does not meet. I see no discrimination here. Now if the lesbian couple had kids and still were turned down they would have a case. Sometimes I think the LGBT community cries bigotry to often.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      @Alex: “a lesbian couple and their two children”… and yes, it DOES meet the requirements of the price reduction, which does not say that children must be accompanied by both of their parents. It only says “a father and/or mother with their own children”. very clearly stated: and / or.

      Technically, ONE of the lesbians could have requested the family rebate, claiming the children as her own.

      So yes, in this case, it is a clear cut case of discrimination.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 2 · MikeE wrote, “Technically, ONE of the lesbians could have requested the family rebate, claiming the children as her own. So yes, in this case, it is a clear cut case of discrimination.”

      The problem with this is that it is that the family rate for one adult and two children is more expensive than separate tickets for the adult and the two children: a single adult plus two children would cost 29 Euros while the family rate is 30 Euros.

      The web site, however, is quite clear that the “family rate” applies to a mother and/or father plus children and is clearly worded as such. It’s discrimination, but the business did not bait and switch, only informing the couple when they arrived. The business also did not trick them into taking a more expensive option than the business’ rules and standard practices allowed.

      BTW, the business claimed that the definition of a family under Austrian law was part of the tax code, and that this set the constraint on what would be considered to be a family. Something obviously has to be fixed, but it is not clear if the problem is this particular business versus some quirk in Austrian laws or regulation (I’ll leave that one to an expert on Austrian tax laws, if any are available).

      Jul 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • freddie
      freddie

      Austria has had registered partnerships since 2010, so clearly they do meet the Austrian criteria for being a family.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alex
      Alex

      @MikeE:

      Oh your right they did have the kids. I misread.

      Jul 23, 2012 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 4 · freddie wrote, “Austria has had registered partnerships since 2010, so clearly they do meet the Austrian criteria for being a family.”

      The company claimed it was a tax-code issue. If true, it is possible that the tax code was not updated to handle registered partnerships due to an oversight of some sort.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 12:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geri
      Geri

      Of course it’s discrimination.

      And like a lot of these situations it was probably down to the gatekeeper they encountered. On another day, with different staff on the door, they would probably have been given the discount.

      What if it was a two parent family with their own biological children and the father, having had a sex change, was now a woman? Such families are rare, but they do exist.

      What if it was mum, grandma and two kids and dad can’t be there because he’s dead? That isn’t a family? Mum, grandad and two kids would get the discount wouldn’t they?

      Their policy is fatally flawed. The possibilities for cruel and unreasonable treatment of certain family groups are legion.

      Simple solution: Two adults plus two children should get the same discount regardless of gender and the relationship dynamic between the two adults.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Taxcode reader
      Taxcode reader

      @B: The fiscal authorities in Austria were very quick in pointing out that no such discriminatory policy exists in the Austrian tax code. The owner of the park has been backpedaling ever since and has promised to train his staff… Who knows what will happen, but at least it is good to know that the law is not discriminatory, just the business was.

      Jul 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 8 · Taxcode reader wrote, “@B: The fiscal authorities in Austria were very quick in pointing out that no such discriminatory policy exists in the Austrian tax code. The owner of the park has been backpedaling ever since and has promised to train his staff…”

      Oh, so they lied about the tax code? Talk about brain-dead management since someone was sure to check after all the publicity. One can only hope that the owner was not initially involved and will give the person(s) who lied a very bad performance review.

      Jul 25, 2012 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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