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filed suit against the RAC and Carilion, claiming they applied for a family membership that was accepted and later withdrawn.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.