Same-Sex Couple Denied Family Membership At Richmond GymAug. 04, 2010
Here's some interesting news that's come to light today. Apparently, a few days ago, a same-sex couple tried to get a family discount at Richmond-based American Family Fitness, a company of eight fitness centers in Richmond and Fredericksburg, and growing, with expansion plans in other markets in the state. The couple was denied. The reason? According to what a company membership official told the blog, gayrva:
We just base the memberships and guidelines on what Virginia state law calls a family – a woman and a man, a husband and a wife. At this present time, we don’t have that because it’s not in the writing of what a family is.
Furthermore, a location manager told the same blog that the policy has been in place for years. To be clear, the two women were not disallowed from joining. They only were denied the chain's family discount. In fact, they previously had a family membership, let it lapse, and were trying to renew it when the situation came to the manager's attention. The manager admitted that some situations slip by them, but per the company's rules, one of the women and her child received the discount, while the other woman joined as an individual.
Now, another clarification: American Family does not claim that state law requires its policy, only that it is guided by what the commonwealth's laws define as a family. We believe WTVR-CBS6 will produce a report on this on one of its newscasts tonight, as it has asked for, and received, a statement from The Family Foundation.
American Family has taken a stand it has every right to take. Stay tuned.