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VA Health Club Reverses Discriminatory Policy After Gay Dads Sue

After gay couple in Roanoke, Virginia, filed suit against a local health club for canceling their family membership,  the club changed its mind—and its policy.

As Queerty reported earlier, Will Trinkle and Juan Granados (right) joined the Roanoke Athletic Club with a family membership in early May. A week later, however, they were informed their membership was revoked because they were not legally married in the eyes of the government. Not only did that mean the men would have to purchase more expensive individual memberships, but their 2-year-old son could use many RAC facilities, which were reserved for families.

But after Trinkle and Granados took the club to court—and the press got wind of the situation—the gym reversed its decision. The RAC posted a new policy on its Facebook page:

“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.”

RAC’s parent company, Carilion Clinic, is a large regional medical-services provider and has a company-wide policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Attorney John Fishwick, who is representing the family, says he will need to consult with Trinkle and Granados before dropping the suit. “It took a lot of courage to bring this lawsuit,” Fishwick told ABC News. “Its primary purpose was for Will and his family to have a family membership. It looks like we’ve achieved that.”

We’re glad this worked out amicably, and that other LGBT families will benefit from the Trinkle-Granados’ efforts. In the end, family memberships are fundraising tools, not goodwill gestures—making them more inclusive will generate more clients and dues.

It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 6, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 42 Comments
    • Kergan Edwards-Stout
      Kergan Edwards-Stout

      The club is still not willing to refer to these folks as a family. They’ve changed their rules, but not their thinking…

      Jul 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nate
      Nate

      I find it funny that they determined that there was a need to change the “name” of their membership from “Family Membership” to “Household Membership”. Do they still not want to acknowledge that the plaintifs are, in fact, a family??

      Jul 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      Handsome couple!

      Jul 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marie Cohn
      Marie Cohn

      Virginia is for Haters.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kayo
      Kayo

      @Nate: I guess in this case it’s a law issue? Gay marriage not being legal in Virginia and all.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • villa-viper
      villa-viper

      Really@Oh well really a good looking couple? An old white dude and a young attractive latino. More like a stereotype. Sad what latinos gotta do to pay the bills :-(

      Jul 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Nate: Changing the name from “family” to “household” means getting to side-step the issue of whether they qualify as a family or not. Which not only means not possibly stirring up other customers to leave (which you might not mind, but a business does), but also means they get to include such things as plain old roommates. It’s a win for everybody.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NYGMATGM
      NYGMATGM

      @villa-viper: Right, a couple that have been together for 8 years and have a son. I’m fairly certain that if he was just looking to pay the bills he wouldn’t have entered into lifelong responsibility of raising a son.

      You’re a catty, vapid moron, aren’t you?

      Jul 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Making up stuff is fun!
      Making up stuff is fun!

      @villa-viper: Jesus, could you be any more of an asshole?

      Jul 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      So basically the organization spoke to attorneys who told them the case would go on for a year or two, cost a lot, and in the end they were going to lose.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NYGMATGM
      NYGMATGM

      @Cam: I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re absolutely right about that. The organization’s refusal to refer to same sex couples as a family unit (versus household unit) speaks volumes.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • villa-viper
      villa-viper

      @Making up stuff is fun!: let’s see..old rich white dude and young hot minority. We all know how the game is played. And I fully expect you gringos to flag me on here:-(cuz you all love power. But guess what each of you that talk smack..I am gonna flag you too :-(

      Jul 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • villa-viper
      villa-viper

      Besides we all know when this old gringo kicks it this youg buck will take his cash and enjoy himself with his own brown brothers:-)

      Jul 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Pretty nasty assumptions about both of them’s characters flying around here, based on essentially nothing at all.

      They don’t even, from the photo on this page, look all that far apart in age. Maybe ten years. If it were 50…

      Jul 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Making up stuff is fun!
      Making up stuff is fun!

      @villa-viper: What an ugly mind you have.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @Cam: Your right. The gay couple was actually even more ingenious then this article full portrays. The gay coupled filed the suit as a breach of contract suit not a civil rights/discrimination suit. The discrimination suit the club would have been able to fight. The breach of contract suit they would have lost miserably resulting in pretty steep losses for them.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • villa-viper
      villa-viper

      @Making up stuff is fun!: no just a very honest mind. You know it is funny I have seen so much nasty racist stuff blogged on here mostly about blacks but sometimes latinos too. These folks don’t get flagged but god forbid you say something about someone white and you gringos loose it. Well I love free speech but I have learned how to play your game. Talk smack gringo and I will flag you enough for you to have your log in frozen. And god forbid your precious wicked white mouths will be put on mute here as well.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford
      J Stratford

      There’s not a lot of age difference there.

      The latino just *looks* younger than his age and the white dude – well almost all white dudes’ face age quickly at that stage.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stephen
      Stephen

      @villa-viper

      He isn’t old, he’s blond. They don’t look that far apart in age, actually. I think you’ve got some racism issues.

      Jul 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LaTeesha
      LaTeesha

      @villa-viper: Trollish assholes like yourself are trollish assholes in real life.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LaTeesha
      LaTeesha

      @villa-viper: My goodness, you are trash.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • venomous-viper
      venomous-viper

      You know it is funny. I have read some of the most racist blog responses on here mostly about blacks but also about some Latinos too. And guess what these folks never get flagged. I see the same old names come in and give a bunch of non-sense advice trying to sound like someone that is an authority on the issues. Something white folks hold near and dear to the heart :-)

      For a community who believes in general freedoms including to marry you all sure are not clear about freedom of speech. You flag anyone who speaks ill against whites period. I have been watching this blog for some time and the white people that blog on here are abusive and manipulative. But in reality you white folks on here are just an extension of who you are in the real world. Lucky Us :-(

      You do not believe in freedom of speech you white folks are all about control and manipulation.

      It’s ok though cuz I am still flagging you all anyway. One day or another it’s gonna catch up to you and you are gonna have to find an alt sign in name or wait a week for the freeze to be lifted. In the meantime meditate on your need to control and dominate. No a pretty quality.

      O and by the way, seriously do we need to even talk about the stereotype of the older white man getting the young attractive minority. This is beyond gay or straight this is straight up your white privilege at work kids.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 12:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @villa-viper, what a bitter old poison pill you are.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 2:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      All-in-all, this is a great story!

      To change the world toward full equality takes change; and change is exactly what has happened here. The ultimate change, well no, but change in the right direction, and, hopefully, full equality is not far off.

      When I came of age, 1978, more states than not had laws criminalizing gay sex, years/decades of change, and now each and every gay/lesbian couple who so desires may marry. Still flawed, of course, DOMA is still around and you have to travel to Iowa or the Northeast, but, nonetheless, you can marry.

      In this case, two guys stood up and have been counted — and tomorrow, somewhere a same-sex couple will not face a similar discrimination.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph Cloutier
      Joseph Cloutier

      Will Trinkle, 54, and his partner Juan Granados, 40

      Jul 7, 2012 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh well
      Oh well

      @Joseph Cloutier, who cares?

      Unless your implication is that if a latino dates a somewhat older anglo, of course the latino must be a gold digger… I can’t even begin to express how offensive to latinos this is. By the way, I am half latin.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Joseph Cloutier: In other words, a bit more of an age gap than usual, but nothing extreme. It’s hardly the elderly man and the hot young stud some have inexplicably decided to paint it as being.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Two things I LOVE about this story.

      I love that gay rights have gotten to the point where even in very conservative areas gays are forcing the issue on rights and taking down these bigots one at a time.

      and the second….I love how obvious the anti-gay bigots are who always show up on these posts to try to say something attacking the character of ANYBODY pushing for gay rights.

      Nice try bigots.

      Jul 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      If a health club or any business is going to be discrimatory towards LGBT People I don’t want to be a member or give them any business at all, even if they do reverse their policy.

      LMAO Villa Viper is showing his r a c i s t bigotry towards whites yet again!

      Jul 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dame
      Dame

      This is what happened.
      “Those goddamn fags are trying to get into our CLUB? NO.”

      then later,
      “Now we have to let those fucking faggots into our club because we have really bad publicity.”

      Btw, this bad publicity only came through because now the national sentiments towards LGBTQIs are better. Had we still lived in Bush era, the poor couple would have never seen their membership OR their fees back.

      Call me extreme for thinking this, but I’ve traveled outside gay-friendly neighborhoods, and the rest of Americans are not so kind to us.

      Jul 8, 2012 at 1:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • amily4dukang
      amily4dukang

      Bridal wedding accessories steel two-tier wedding bustle wedding – $12.00 :

      Jul 8, 2012 at 1:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Torres
      David Torres

      This is hardly a “handsome couple.” You cannot even see the face of the older man. And, 14 years is a significant age difference. Why does Granados have to be a gold digger? Isn’t Trinkle a cradle robber? The bigger question is: Couldn’t Trinkle get an attractive white guy 14 years his junior to date him? Probably not. Moving on…

      Jul 8, 2012 at 6:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @David Torres: Sad that you think finding a mate who’s as close as possible to your own skin color and age is so important.

      Jul 8, 2012 at 6:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dre
      Dre

      Hahah David Torres is yet another RAC!ST Latino man, or he’s just Villa Viper posting under another name! ;)

      Jul 8, 2012 at 6:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pedro
      Pedro

      Wow, los maricones are out in full force showing their stereotypical bitchiness. But it’s Queerty and nobody really expects anything different…When did 14 years become some great age divide within a relationship of consenting adults? In the history of relationships both heterosexual and homosexual people have dated people outside their age group and the sky didn’t fall and even more mind-blowing some of them actually loved their partners. Couples certainly can have other things in common other than age or ethnicity! As for the idea that Latinos will date any “Gringo” for money…well racism and racial stereotypes are everywhere, including well entrenched within the gay community, what else is there to say?

      Just a note to the ignorant, “Gringo” doesn’t mean white. It can be used to describe any foreigner, including the Latino guy who makes up half of this couple. If he ever went to a Latin country, spoke with an American accent and acted like a Yanqui, he would also be described as a Gringo. I visited my white relatives in Argentina and was called a Gringo (I’m half Mexican).

      Jul 8, 2012 at 7:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Pedro: God, you are just the dumbest thing ever, aren’t you.

      Jul 8, 2012 at 9:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Actually Pedro is correct, there’s A LOT of rac!sm within the LGBT community especially among LGBT people towards other LGBT People as we’re seeing in the comments on here.

      Secondly 14 years is NOT a huge age gap at all between partners, and it’s hardly “robbing the cradle” as someone else said. There are tons of bisexuals, gay men, lesbians, and heterosexuals who are 10-15 years apart or even more, in age who are in relationships together.

      Jul 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UsualPlayers
      UsualPlayers

      @Steve:

      “Actually Pedro is correct.”

      Pedro’s a fucking moron. Hitch your wagon to a less retarded horse.

      “There are tons of bisexuals, gay men, lesbians, and heterosexuals who are 10-15 years apart or even more, in age who are in relationships together.”

      Sure, there are lots of sugardaddies and kept boys out there. What’s your point?

      Jul 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UsualPlayers
      UsualPlayers

      @Steve:

      “Actually Pedro is correct.”

      Pedro’s a fucking moron. Hitch your wagon to a less re/tarded horse.

      “There are tons of bisexuals, gay men, lesbians, and heterosexuals who are 10-15 years apart or even more, in age who are in relationships together.”

      Sure, there are lots of sugardaddies and kept boys out there. What’s your point?

      Jul 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Torres
      David Torres

      @UsualPlayers:

      Thank you so much for your response to Steve regarding his “10-15 years apart” nonsense. These morons actually believe that if you tell the lie enough, it will actually make it true. Ugh. You hit the nail on the head when you said there are a lot of sugardaddies and kept boys out there. Here is the real deal: Older gay men DREAM of relationships with younger gay men. It’s just a fact. That’s why all their profiles on the dating sites request men NO OLDER than they are, with specifications for younger men. Here’s the problem: Young guys don’t want to date OLDER men. When it does it happen, it’s usually a sugardaddy/kept boy relationship. Or, it’s some young troll who can only get older men. Sorry, it’s true. I expect to be flagged and all that stuff, basically because gay men are OFFENDED BY THE TRUTH.

      Jul 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      Just because someone is 10-15 years apart from their partner or even older it does not mean that they’re with a sugar daddy/Sugar mama, or are “Kept” at all.

      Jul 9, 2012 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Iconoclast
      Iconoclast

      I agree that big age differences don’t necessarily mean that the younger partner is “kept” or a “trophy spouse.” In this case though it is relevant to know that Mr. Trinkle was born into great wealth. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His grandfather was the governor of VA for heaven’s sake. He’s not shy about reminding people of that wealth, despite the fact that people familiar with his circumstances know that he is far from self-made. Made at birth is more like it. People like that, trustafarians, have certain expectations in life. One of them is to “select” a very desirable partner; one that (in part) would make them look good and, again, remind people of the wealth. That may have happened in this case. I doubt that the much more attractive of the two, Juan, would be with a man 14 years his elder if, well, the circumstances were different. All that said, Mr. Trinkle, thanks in part to his family’s wealth, has done some good in the world and this story is an example of that. He and his partner should be commended.

      Jun 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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