Updated 7/6/12: Woo hoo! The ban on this two-dad family has been lifted by the Carilion Clinic as of late yesterday. After the Change.org petition received over 150,000 signatures in 48 hours, late Thursday the Carilion Clinic's Facebook page revealed a revised membership policy which now “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.”
When Will Trinkle, a Virginia real estate agent and dad of two-year-old Oliver Trinkle-Granados, applied for membership at the Roanoke Athletic Club, a gym owned by the regional medical provider Carilion Clinic, he didn’t get the welcome respite from the heat he’d been hoping for, reports WTVR.com. Although his family membership plan, which clearly listed his partner Juan Granados and their son, was initially processed, a representative from the gym later contacted Trinkle to say that the processing had been a mistake, and that because Virginia state law does not recognize same sex marriage, the company was complying with the law by not recognizing the Trinkle-Granados partnership as a family.
Is marriage the only way this company will recognize a family? Let’s think about the more than eight million unmarried couples living together, documented by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010. It’s doubtful that heterosexual couples would have to show their marriage certificate to prove that they should be considered a family in the eyes of this company…
According to a petition to Carilion Clinic on Change.org (which already has over 40,000 signatures), a representative told Trinkle that the company was “’tightening policies’ so no families like us would ever ‘get as far’ as we had.”
Trinkle adds, "We were really surprised. It's like someone punched us in the stomach. We couldn't imagine this kind of discrimination." He is now suing the club and the clinic for breach of contract and violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, reports the Associated Press.
The demands of the Change.org petition to Carilion Clinic are two-fold:
- Treat all families--married and unmarried, same sex and opposite sex--with true impartiality and respect and
- Extend the full benefits of family membership at the Roanoke Athletic Club to Trinkle's family and all other unmarried couples who live together.
Are you appalled that this kind of discrimination is still alive and well in 2012?