By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com July 05 2012 1:22 PM ET
In preparation for the hot Virginia summer, Will Trinkle signed his partner and 2-year-old son up for a family membership to a Roanoke gym with a pool. The Roanoke Athletic Club approved membership for Trinkle, partner Juan Granados, and their son, Oliver.
However, once club administrators discovered that Trinkle and Granados were a gay couple, their membership was rescinded nine days after being approved. Club officials said the application was processed by mistake since same-sex couples are not recognized by the state of Virginia, and that the club was tightening its policies, so gay families would ever "get as far" as they had.
"We were really surprised. It's like someone punched us in the stomach," Trinkle said, according to Change.org. "We couldn't imagine this kind of discrimination."
The family is now suing the club and its affiliate Carilion Clinic for breach of contract and violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, according to the Associated Press.
The Change.org petition also calls on Carilion Clinic to extend full family benefits to all married and unmarried same-sex couples.
UPDATE: The Carilion Clinic has changed its membership policies and will now allow families of same-sex couples to join two of its athletic clubs under the family membership guidelines.
"Since opening our doors over three decades ago, we have always strived to provide the very best in service, programs, and staffing," Bud Grey, the vice president of corporate communications, announced on Carilion Clinic's Facebook page Thursday. "Our goal has been, and always will be to encourage and inspire health and wellness among all members of the communities we serve."
The company will now offer household memberships, which will consist of "a primary member and up to one additional household member that permanently lives in the same house, and any of their dependent children under age 22, who also reside in the household on a permanent basis."