Texas YMCA Ends Discriminatory Membership Policy After Lesbian Couple Complains

Last month, the YMCA in Tyler, Texas refused to offer a family membership to a lesbian couple, demanding they produce a marriage certificate if they expected to receive the discount. This was in spite of the fact that they actually had a family membership at the same YMCA 10 years prior. Suzy Sheridan created a petition on behalf of her family that received 8,00 signatures, and the YMCA has now adjusted its policies to be more inclusive.

The new policy is unfortunately now known as a “household membership,” implying that not all households are families, but it is at least fully inclusive:

Household Membership are 2 adults and children under 21 [24 if enrolled in college (full-time)-must submit proof of registration annually] Additional adults can be added for an additional monthly fee of $15.00 per month. Required documentation will be ID and proof of residency such as driver’s license with current address or bill showing name and matching address. This membership includes facility usage, fitness group classes and discounted programs.

The change represents a small but important victory in the struggle for same-sex families’ full inclusion in communities and society.