“Mom & Mom” Not A Family According To Children’s Museum

A Florida mom claims she and her partner were denied the family membership rate to a children’s museum that does not recognize same-sex families.

Karen Lee-Duffell and her family have been members of Jacksonville’s Hands On Children’s Museum for three years. However, when she went in to renew her membership last week, an employee noticed that the form’s spaces for “Mom” and “Dad” were filled by “Mom” and “Mom.”

“She says ‘oh wait no, you’re going to have pay an extra ten dollars to add this other mom, you can’t have two moms’ and she points up at the sign, a family membership consists of one mom and one dad,” Lee-Duffell told First Coast News.

The employee claimed that the museum was concerned about people putting multiple families under one membership, while the museum director issued a statement explaining that memberships are very specific and do not allow substitutions.

LGBT people are not included in Florida’s statewide non-discrimination policy and since the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, legally Hands On Children’s Museum doesn’t have to either.

In response, a boycott has been organized via social media and a petition has already garnered over 700 signatures. According to the petition:

Your museum expected a family, who were members at your museum for three years, to pay more for a family membership when it was noticed both parents listed on the membership form were women. When contacted by phone, a representative explained your displayed sign is clear and that families consist of a mom and a dad. It was confirmed your business does not recognize same sex families. You also charge more for grandparents with children, even though FL has the highest percentage of grandparents raising grandchildren in the nation…All families are entitled to be recognized as such and deserve to be treated equally by the businesses they patronize.

Lee-Duffell has decided to move her four-year-old and 13-month-old daughters to a new museum, but hopes Hands On becomes more inclusive. “I’m not out to destroy anybody. What I would like to see happen is for them to change their policy and make it be equal,” she said. “It’s not like I couldn’t afford the extra ten dollars, but it’s the principle of the thing.”

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  • balehead

    She’s out to become famous and destroy….maybe she could heckle the Obama’s while she’s at it….

  • QJ201

    @balehead: And you are out to troll

  • MikeE

    @balehead: remember when I mentioned your “bitter and self-loathing” posts? well, THIS is one of them… you know, just in case you were having trouble distinguishing them from posts that are NOT bitter and self-loathing.

  • Charles175

    @balehead: Your a “shithead”

  • Ken

    I really, really, really, really, really hate web pages with auto-run videos and sound. I don’t like the surprise. I have to sort through the tabs to figure out which one is making the noise. Sometimes it isn’t obvious, because it’s part of the page that isn’t visible until I scroll down. Sometimes the video is in a loop, and by the time I find it, it’s on a completely different topic. I’ve been conditioned by YouTube to click on a video to stop it, but in many cases, that just starts another video. I’m like Micky Mouse in Fantasia, trying desperately to stop the videos, but each time I kill one, two more take its place.

    I don’t want a quiet roomful of people in cubicles to hear what I’m looking at. It’s the audible equivalent of an embarrassing wardrobe function. If it is a pundit offering an opinion on a controversial subject, people overhearing it will think I agree with the pundit. There is just no upside to this.

    Most often use my computer with the sound off to avoid booby-trapped web sites, but that impairs other things. If it happens too much, I remove the site from my bookmarks and never go back. It’s a shame, because some of the worst offenders are otherwise the best web sites.

    In case it’s not clear, I really, really, really, really, really hate web pages with auto-run videos and sound.

  • pierre

    @Ken: Agree 100%. Sometimes the sound is up high and it scares the hell out of me!

  • 2eo

    @Ken: Ad-block is your friend, if like me you don’t give a f*ck about how sites get money, considering Queerty is largely funded by the mormon church you shouldn’t give a f*ck either.

    I didn’t even know Queerty ran ads until I logged in from a machine not under my ownership.

  • Ogre Magi

    Jacksonville is a really rotten city

  • balehead

    To the jealous haters….Actually she owns part of competing Children’s Museum….I knew this was fishy!..

  • balehead

    This place is a troll convention!! I guess I could say the say about your posts about In shape minority gays you two are always hating on…

  • Cam

    Why does the article say that she “Claims” this happened, when later in the article it makes it clear that the Museum DOES have this policy and enforces it.

    That would seem to prove her point wouldn’t it?

  • Cam

    @balehead: said….

    “To the jealous haters….Actually she owns part of competing Children’s Museum….I knew this was fishy!..”

    You’re a liar, to use YOUR words, I KNEW something was fishy with YOUR comment when you made that claim but didn’t paste in a link.

    The article says that she would take her kid to one of the other parks and museums she also had a membership to.

    If you have to try to lie to make your point that is pretty said.

  • MikeE

    @balehead: to the self-loathing moron… reading comprehension, it’s a good thing.

    I guess your imaginary muscles went to your head?

    Please link to where she “owns” a competing museum.

    You’re a strange one, Balehead. You slam anyone who isn’t attracted to muscle twinks, yet you are the first one to criticize anyone else and find fault with every single item. get over yourself.

  • David Williams

    From the Indianapolis Children’s Museum website, the largest Children’s Museum in the entire US with 472,900 square feet containing 120,000 exhibits on five floors of exhibit halls and receives more than one million visitors annually “Membership and all benefits are for up to two adults sharing the same household and all children under age 21”. Those individuals who manage the Jacksonville museum should update their policies and come into the 21st century.

  • NormdePlume

    Jacksonville. Of course. Or as we used to call it: gay hell.
    It’s probably the most backward town in the entire state of FL.

  • Huston Piner

    Hypocrisy. If the museum doesn’t discriminate against a single parent or family with a grandparent/guardian, including those in which an uncle or auntie is included, there is no justifiable reason to exlcude a couple who are gay/lesbian.

  • Karen

    @balehead: In case you’re wondering, this is an utter falsehood. I own no such thing. Although since this place is so poorly run and hateful, maybe I should open one! There is a new place opening soon that I hope will be a better fit for our family, but we are not affiliated with them in any way.

    -Karen Lee-Duffell

  • 2eo

    @Karen: Karen, if I may, Balehead is part of a group that troll LGBT sites, your Facebook profile is open and information easily available.

    I’d suggest you alter your privacy settings, Balehead is nowhere near the nastiest person on his ilk on the site, and they will attack you and your family, they have a history of doing so.

    Also what they did was a joke and I hope you are able to effect a positive outcome.

  • Scribe38

    @Karen: I am very very sorry that this happened to you. I have had similar dealings with Gyms and the local zoo in Michigan. I hope these people are embarrassed into doing the right thing. Real change will only happen when we have marriage equality nation wide. Wish your family the best and keep your fingers cross for the supreme court..

  • hephaestion

    That children’s museum is a dump.

  • WOWfactor

    There really is nothing redeeming about Florida. The fact that gays continue to move there and/or bring millions of dollars in tourism to a state that treats gays as second class citizens mystifies me. Florida is an open chancre that is best left alone.

Comments are closed.