A gay couple who applied to a publicly-owned gym in Ohio has filed a complaint after they were denied the ability to apply for memberships at a family discount rate.
Shane and Coty May attempted to join the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The Akron, Ohio couple married in Washington, D.C., three months ago, and requested to merge their individual memberships. When their request was denied, the couple set up a Change.org petition, seeking support for their cause.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, membership for an individual costs $495 annually, but married couples pay $730 annually.
Shane May said he and his husband Coty, an injured Iraq war veteran, prefer the Natatorium because Coty enjoys water therapy at the pool as well as light weight lifting.
After being pushed to resolve this issue, the Cuyaoga Falls City Council is now evaluating whether to seek legal counsel in defense of the complaint. However City Councilwoman Diana Colavecchio said the city might not "have the authority to act" on the Mays' complaint because an independent park board sets the Natatorium's rules.
However, other fitness centers, community recreation centers, and the Akron YMCA allow gay and lesbian couples to sign up for joint memberships.
The state of Ohio does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Ohio does not have any state-wide recognition of same-sex couples, nor does it recognize the marriages or civil unions of same-sex couples who were wed or unionized in a jurisdiction that has legalized marriage equality,
like Washington, D.C.