The YMCA in Tyler, Texas has allegedly refused to offer a family membership to a lesbian couple who have a 20-year-old son and who also take care of another young man. Apparently, they did offer such a membership ten years ago when the couple’s son was on the swim team, but now that he is not, the YMCA suddenly is requiring a marriage certificate, which of course they cannot obtain in Texas.
One of the moms, Suzy Sheridan, has started a Change.org petition challenging the YMCA’s discrimination:
The Tyler YMCA has discriminated against my family and denied letting us join under the family plan because we are not a traditional family. My life partner and I have been together for over twenty years and have a 20 year old son. We also assist another young man who has lived with us nearly two years. I was told I would have to produce a marriage certificate before they would let us join under the family plan. I told them that was not possible since I live in Texas and our long time relationship was not recognized in this state. I told them that I felt they were being discriminatory. What’s ironic is that they didn’t have a problem letting us join under the family plan when our son swam on their swim team 10 years ago. I feel they should have a policy across the board for all their facilities allowing all types of families to join their organization.
Last year, the Baylor’s Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas, Texas similarly refused to offer a family membership to a same-sex couple. Rather than expand their membership policies, they abandoned family memberships entirely to avoid the couple’s discrimination complaint. In contrast, a Virginia athletic club recently apologized for discriminating against a gay family and started offering inclusive memberships.