Gay Flag Parade

Will Trinkle, Juan Granados and their 2 year old son, Oliver recently got the business-end of Virginia politics when they were denied a family membership to Roanoke Athletic Club based on the fact that their family consists of gay parents.

The couple of eight years sued the Roanoke Athletic Club and its parent company Carilion Clinic, and won! Deets after the hop.

The announcement came in two forms: first, the Roanoke Athletic Club made an announcement on their Facebook page notifying people that their old “family” membership is now a “household” membership, meant to include

…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.

The news was shared second with the people who signed the Change.org petition:

Before: The Roanoke Athletic Club in Virginia reportedly told Will Trinkle, Juan Granados and their 2-year-old son that they didn’t qualify for a family membership because Will and Juan are gay, and therefore not a real family.

After: In just eight days, nearly 175,000 people signed a petition on Change.org supporting Will and Juan, and the Roanoke Athletic Club responded by issuing a new policy: Any family, gay or straight, married or unmarried, now qualifies for a household membership.

“I want to thank everyone who signed,” says Mark Lynn Ferguson, the Roanoke native who started the petition supporting Will and Juan. “You hailed from all over — Roanoke to Rome — and you delivered a clear message that there is no room for this kind of discrimination in the world.”

This is all great news. The only thing that we’re left wondering is if the Roanoke Athletic Club classification is enough. Sure, they now allow for gay parent households. But they’ve also somehow figured out how to get out of hot water without saying that two gay parents with a kid are a “family.” The reinstatement is a victory, but the Roanoke Athletic Club still doesn’t consider gay families families.

Really, the truth of the matter is that the Roanoke Athletic Club didn’t need to redefine their family/household membership – they need to realign their values.

Are these baby steps enough? Is it not a real victory until people consider gay families the same as straight families? Let us know in the comments!

And congrats to the Trinkle-Granados family for this win!