PAYING YOUR DUES

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 A week later, however, they were informed their membership was revoked because they were not legally married in the eyes of the government.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.