A gay couple in Virginia is suing the Roanoke Athletic Club for discrimination, after the gym canceled their family membership.
On May 15, Will Trinkle and partner Juan Granados joined the RAC under a family package with their 2-year-old son, Oliver. Though they were initially accepted, the couple received a letter a week later telling them they were not a family under Virginia law and their application was processed “by mistake.”(The state of Virginia doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions.)
In addition to foisting higher fees on Granados and Trinkle for individual memberships, the gym’s decision means Oliver can’t use many of the club’s facilities, including the swimming pool: “The Children’s Rules provide that only children on a family membership may use the youth services room, the track, group exercise, cardiovascular, Nautilus, LifeFitness, Keiser and gymnasium,” their complaint states.
“The primary focus of the case is for this family to have the opportunities that other families have, and to have the contract that was signed be enforced,” says attorney John Fishwick, who is representing Granados and Trinkle. He claims the decision was a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
Trinkle, who says he was upfront about his relationship when he joined, describes RAC’s turnaround “like someone punched us in the stomach.”
If you’re disgusted by the gym’s actions, join the more than 20,000 people who have signed a Change.org petiton supporting Granados, Trinkle and their son.