Roanoke gyms allow same-sex partners after lawsuit

Roanoke and Botetourt Athletic Clubs are changing their membership guidelines to give same-sex partners and their children full access to the facilities, according to a message posted this afternoon on the Facebook page for Carilion Clinic, which owns the clubs.

“We are pleased to announce that we have expanded our Family Membership into a new Household Membership,” wrote Bud Grey, who oversees Carilion's wellness and fitness programs. “A household 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."

The announcement comes a little over a week after a local real estate agent, Will Trinkle, and his partner filed suit against the RAC and Carilion, claiming they applied for a family membership that was accepted and later withdrawn.

In a statement, Trinkle said he'd been told by an unnamed Carilion representative "they were 'tightening policies' so no families like us would ever 'get as far' as we had."

"It is because we are two men that have a child," he told reporters.

The suit drew considerable public attention, including a petition posted on Change.org in support of Trinkle that today listed more than 50,000 signatures.

Grey's Facebook post said dues will not change and the price for a household membership is the same as the family membership it replaces.

Neither Trinkle’s attorney, John Fishwick, nor a Carilion spokesman was immediately available for comment.

Posted to: News Virginia

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I would like to know what prompted the club's change of heart. All members of the family are named on the application - the time to deny the application was when it was submitted, not after the fact.

You are correct if the

You are correct if the correct info was on the application to begin with, but do we know that for a fact?

There is one bit of crucial

There is one bit of crucial information that is missing......the wording of the contract. None of us has any idea what is written in the contract.


Virginia just doesn't seem to be moving forward at all.

Hope I'm not speaking out of

Hope I'm not speaking out of school but I'm fairly certain the official policy of local YMCA's has no problem at all with gay and lesbian family members. It's nice to see we're out front of southwest Virginia in at least one regard.


I would like to know which YMCA you are referring to, because the Taylor Bend one would not let my Wife and our son and I get a family membership because our lovely state of Virginia doesn't recognize our marriage. And, the Y is a christian based business, if I am not mistaken.

you're totally right

It will be VERY interesting to see how this plays out. I mean, from a standing back, non-dramatic perspective, this club is now in a binding contract with these folks that they really can't back out of, regardless of personal dislike of lifestyle. Now, before the whole signing went down, the owner does have the right - not privilege, the RIGHT - to refuse service, without having to give any explanation for cause. Too bad so sad, go join another private club, you can't prove that I disallowed you based upon your lifestyle, end of story. But NOW, these guys have a case, and they will probably win. End of story. Y'all have a happy belated Fourth!!!

However, the club can win

because for a contract to be valid, it must conform with the law. A minor for example, can sign a contract, but it is not valid because he is a minor. If state law says that a family consists of a man and a woman and child(ren), then the club should win. However, I am afraid that politics will override the law in this case.

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If only liberals would stop forcing their morals

on the rest of us, then problems like this wouldn't occur. The club is private, and the Constitution allows them the right to refuse membership to whomever they want to.

Excuse me, did I read that correctly?

As conservatives consistently try to force their morals upon us, whether it be about blue laws, abortion, gay rights, cohabitation or any other "perceived" immoral act you have the audacity to accuse liberals of forcing morals onto people? Sir, with all due respect, morals take a backseat to rights, and rightly so.

Please live your life to some vague and moral code you make up as you go but keep it out of my life. I have no room for your kind of morality.

Ask yourself one question though, is hate really a moral emotion and a family value?

If I was a club member

I would not want freaks joining and ruining the experience. If I were gay why should I expect that my gay lover can get in free?


you are the freak


The gym, knowing the members names from the application, should have cited VA's legal definition of a family (if that even exists anywhere) before selling them the membership. Also, if the gym feels so stronlgy, they should post that definition where people can see it.

In other words, the gym pulled a scam to get the couple's money. They should sue and win.

Hope they win

Let's hope they win their suit. Sooner or later, Virginia will be dragged into the present. It will take a while, just as it did in the 60s for racial integration. Then, as now, the Bible was cited as justification for keeping the races apart. Just try refusing service to someone now on the basis of race. Not gonna happen. The same will eventually be the case on same-sex issues. Interestingly, once again the military is leading the way.

I support them... but...

I full support Same-Sex couples and even marriage. But I'm not sure thats the direct issue here. If they allow couples who don't yet legally meet the definition of "family" (Yes, I agree this definition needs to be redefined) then it really would no different than me sueing them because they won't allow my girl friend and I a membership because we're not legally married, but may considering ourselves and our children a family.

All that being said - this case is slightly different because the did in fact approve them, and then tried to back out.

Good Point

First I am assuming by your comment you and your girlfriend are living at the same address.
From there;
Did the gym ask to see a marriage license? Does it in other cases? If they don’t as a standard ask to see a license what rules (if any) do (did) they have to keep unmarried couples from getting a joint membership?
So if they don’t let you join as a family you may have a case.


I guess me and another guy can say we are a couple and we can get family rates.Don't have to be gay,to save money just saying.

I read the article, maybe you did not

Their new policy did not say anything about marriage, or "family". It stated that their new "household" membership includes 1 adult, the other adult who is a permanent resident and their minor children under 22. So, this can be brother/brother, roomies, gay or straight couples.. I think it got lost in usual anti-gay babble that bigots here espouse so frequently.

Some of these comments

were made this morning under the original article which talked about the lawsuit and the circumstances under which it was brought. This is a totally new article about the change in the club policy, but some of the comments were referring to the earlier article.

I'm Glad

You might want to pick up your bible if you have one and read Matthew 19:4


Since I don't believe in any supreme being or divine word referencing a fiction book is really proving nothing.


This has nothing to do with the bible. The bible has some good advice; love your neighbor, do unto others blah blah, don't steal, don't murder, take care of your mom and dad. But it has lots of silly stuff in it too; don't eat pork, don't get divorced, have more than one wife, sacrifice animals, burn offerings, evil spirits in people, kill witches.
People shouldn't base their life completely on this book.

I believe this has more to

I believe this has more to do with money than discrimination.

In its motivation or its

In its motivation or its effect?

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Gym Use.

If the gym lets them in together, it will deter quite a few people from using the gym and will cost the gym membership. Can't they just get a Richard Simmons exercise video and to for it?

gym use

are you serious how closed minded can you be? how bout you go to Antarctica and then you won't have to deal with this open minded world you obviously have no respect for...but pretty sure if it was two women you would be right there ringside to watch now wouldn't you

two women?

Darn skippy!


I doubt it will have any effect on the membership, except for the one small minded person that complained.

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Couple by Law?

If the gym is correct in stating that the law doesn't recognize same sex couples as a family, does this couple really have leg to stand on by suing the gym? Seems like the issue should be with the state, not a law obiding businesses.


Then the gym should have said that before they sold them a membership.

Of Course They Do

If the couple answered all questions on the application truthfully and did nothing to hide the fact that their family consists of two men and a minor child, then the gym owners will be on the defensive because they accepted the application. Now, if the membership rules explicitly state that they gym's definition of a family is a legally married man and woman, then the gym might have a better chance at winning the case.

"Virginia's legal definition of family"

Anyone got the legal code that covers that issue?

Just checked the state bar's

Just checked the state bar's research site, and there is no single definition. There's a multitude. An exemption from vehicle transfer taxes, one for membership in credit unions, etc. but nothing that actually applies here. Gym probably intends to extrapolate from protection of marriage act and Virginia marriage amendment. That may have success with the two men (except for the contract issues) though would definitely not have success with a legally adopted child.

found this one

(i) the person's spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (ii) the person's former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (iii) the person's parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person, (iv) the person's mother-in- Law ... (more family members at the website)

That's one of many. In

That's one of many. In fact, that particular one includes "any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person."

That particular one also

That particular one also includes "any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time." This is about as expansive as any I've seen of those here in Virginia.

comments are too funny

Gay men love to work out and the gym's are full of them. To think that a gyn's membership would drop off because of them is crazy. These men and their son working out at the gym should not have any affect on anyone else. But then again, we do have people who would rather be seperationist then those that are inclusive. What a pity!

I, for one don't want to

I, for one don't want to listen to gay men discussing their sexual exploits from the night before while dressing in the gym. I quit the last one that happened in and joined a private gym that definitely does not allow gays.

Oh, but

But hetero guys discussing all their dirty deeds is ok to listen to?

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So What!

If they are not having sex in the gym, what is the problem? I am sure there are many other gay members at the gym too.

If ANYONE is having sex in

If ANYONE is having sex in the gym, regardless of preference, it's a problem. It is a shame that people are singled out for what they may or may not do between consenting adults. How many hetero married couples do I know that haven't had sex in YEARS? They all belong to gyms without a problem. Does not matter one single bit what someone does with their partner/spouse/rabbit/dog/etc. I personally wouldn't want anything to do with the gym after that, but if they fought for their rights and won -amen to that!

Problem is these gay men are

Problem is these gay men are in my locker room. Guess the women shouldn't mind if i dress in theirs!!!!

Ha, are you afraid?

Some one might see you and be so over come they would just ...what?

I prefer not to listen to

I prefer not to listen to people discussing anal sex while my kids are in the same locker room.


But it would be okay if a heterosexual couple talked about anal sex in front of your children? Or any other method of engaging in sex?

you know what I think?

I think you protest to much. What you think you know about gay men is a fantasy and has no resemblence of reality.

As I said before this is getting too weird, now I see it as senseless. Since I'm not in the habit of banging my heard against a brick wall. I'm done.

gays should keep it

to themselves. No other people need to know or want to know except other gays.

the same goes for....

...religious zealots. Keep it to yourself.


they do try to keep it to themselves, but people like you are so interested in someones sexuality, it's brought out


sounds to me you want the attention from gay men, you sure are writing alot about it. you should just ccome on out man, you may have fun! or is that what you're afraid of

Here is a question. Why

Here is a question. Why would two homosexual men want to be a part of an obviously straight gym? (maybe the reason is blatantly obvious.) Why wouldnt they want to go to a gym where their kind are wanted and welcome? Get a refund and head across town to where you are welcome. If you dont like whats on tv, change the channel. You dont sue the tv station. Im sure the gym owner would gladly refund their money and have them go away. How many straight customers are going to come back when the place they work out becomes overrun with gay men? NOT VERY MANY. The owner is just looking to protect what is HIS. HIS hard work, HIS time, HIS investment. This will wind up being a huge lawsuit that will put a hard working businessman out of business.

Types of segregation are

Types of segregation are over. This is America. Only bigots care who comes in the door. And they are becoming more marginalized.

Soon the pedophiles will be

Soon the pedophiles will be demanding their rights too!!!!

and another one...

What do pedophiles have to do with this??

They are in the gym's too.

They are in the gym's too.

Oh boy

All kinds of scary folks in the gym - just stay home then.

they have always been there

They have always been there because pedophiles are straight.

Last time I checked,

Last time I checked, pedophilia was not limited to heterosexuals. Now both gay and heterosexual pedophiles will be asking for the right to join the clubs as "family" members, at the "family" rate, so they can look at your "family".

no one has to pay a membership

No one has to pay a membership to "look at your family" This is getting to WEIRD.

This is a absurd conclusion

This is a absurd conclusion based solely on fantasy. It is about as ridiculous as saying soon microbes from Jupiter will be demanding family rights.

Now I know why cons don't

Now I know why cons don't believe in evolution. Their "kind" never evolve. It must hurt dragging your knuckles around all day.


That's too funny. Please don't make my sides hurt like that.

My unevolved, silver backed,

My unevolved, silver backed, caloused knuckles are doing GREAT! oooohooooh aaaahaaaah. Anyone have a banana for the missing link?

Maybe you should read the article

Maybe you should read the article along with a bunch of other commenter's up here. It's not about them being gay, it's about them trying to get the family rate which they were technically not eligible for being that they aren't recognized as being married. No different than straight couples that aren't married not being eligible. The Gym did the right thing by changing policy to household rates instead of family rates.

"their kind"?

What the heck - is there a sign on the club 'hetero's only'?
A couple of guys and their kid is not exactly 'over run' do you think.
You need a reality check.

"maybe the reason is blatantly obvious" ????

WOW! This is going over my head. What do you see as "blatantly obvious"?

In this day and age..

you can count on Holder showing up and seeing to it that those who actually own and operate the gym will complete a stint in a government run re-education camp! If only this couple had proclaimed that they are here illegally! Then those owners would no doubt be executed for their insolence!

To bjmj...why would two gay

To bjmj...why would two gay men want to go to an obviously "straight" gym? Been to alot of workout facilities and have yet to find one marked straight or gay.
According to the complete article, which appeared on other news sites, these gentlemen signed up to use the pool facilities with their child at this athletic club.
These people have trouble because of people like you and their "those people" kind of attitudes.

Said it before, saying it again

Why would a business do this,and subject themselves to this type of publicity.Fine you have a "family" policy; but you also have an owner and/or manager to make decisions. I can understand the owner/manager questioning the application if the information was not clear,but they should have just "over ruled" the policy and just put it through,& have avoided the whole thing. All stores have a return policy,where you'll find managers,who don't have any managerial capacity to make a decision beyond the policy's exact wording.Then you will also find small stores w/real managers, who have a return policy, becauase you have to have something in writing;but who will listen, and make a rational decision on a case by case basis,and do the right thing.

It stems from childhood

Unmet needs in childhood lead to unrealistic expectations in adulthood.

As this gym owner (may have) learned at a young age - Negative attention is better than no attention at all.

When it translated to his adult life it became - Bad publicity is better than no publicity. This is merely free advertising for him on a statewide scale.

I didnt know that this gym existed before this story - did you?


Sex couples can't be married in Virginia, so they can't be family.

This is the same argument

This is the same argument made in the early 1800's. Since slaves could not marry they could not be a family. However, reality trumps rhetoric.


They can be a household!

Response to albundyrules

I'm not gay, and do not condone same-sex couples, I simply believe that all-mighty God does not make mistakes. I also beleive people choose the way they live and the repercussions, in heaven or on earth, that come with the choice! That said, you are what is wrong with this country. In your completely distorted mindset, have someone brought the AG into this? And, you somehow even inserted an implication regarding illegals. You made this scenario up in your feeble mind. Can't you see how "un-truths" have affected your ability to be logical. It's scary how many of you are out there in my America! I'm a 26 year active duty veteran, it's my country! Stop beleiving everything youu see on FOX and other media outlets. learn to seek the absolute truth

After being harassed by

After being harassed by homosexuals from across the country what do you expect. Better get use to homosexuals forcing their deviant behaviour on you and your children.

please explain

How YOU were harassed by those deviant homosexuals from across the country. Poor thing, we really want to know.

I can tell you how

Having to suppress his thoughts and feelings he has had to deny most of his life as a homophobe can take its toll.

Now that it is becoming more and more widely accepted, his level of 'temptation' has grown exponentially (and he hates it)

Its okay buddy. Even IF you choose not to accept/embrace it we will still accept you.


From reading the article, no one was "forcing" any type of sexual behavior on anyone. It seems that the mere fact that this was a homosexual couple is causing traumatic reactions among those who despise anything that goes against their own beliefs. If any kind of sexual activity is taking place in a public gym, be it hetero-, homo-, or auto-, then there is cause for concern and legal action. Just knowing, however, that a certain behavior is practiced by an adult couple in the privacy of their own home is not grounds for exclusion from a public facility.

Forcing their deviant behavior!"

Did you try saying no?


We won't hate you 'cause you're beautiful...

LOL @ The Haters

God Creates the first people: Adam and Eve.
Eve goes off and starts the 'sin train'

Women hold the gateway to heaven and the doorway to hell (all in one package)

With one of those they can get as many of these as they want...

And the list goes on...

Bottom line, all of us heterosexual mens are POWERLESS to and we know it. We spend 9 months trying to get out, and the rest of our lives back in.

Homosexuals have found a 'loophole' in the laws of creation/evolution and are not mesmerized by these creatures that we are powerless to resist.

I can see why they are hated ;)


God made a mistake with you Commoner! We dont need people like you in this world


everyone should be like you?

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