Gay couple with two children denied family membership at Valley Beach Park

Family membership for married couples only at Norwalk swim park.
Cary Ashby
May 12, 2014

Norwalk native Jeffrey Taylor wasn’t denied a membership to Valley Beach Park.

However, the club is prohibiting the gay man from having a family membership with his partner, Daniel Story, even though they have two children.

“My family typically (has gone) there every summer since I was a little kid,” said Taylor, who is 23 years old. “I remember being there when I was really young.”

Taylor isn’t legally married, but is dating Daniel Story, who has two children. 

On Tuesday, Taylor inquired about membership prices at Valley Beach Park via Facebook. In a correspondence with owner Kris Maitland, Taylor asked if a “same-sex couple with two children” qualified as a family membership.

“A family is considered a husband, wife and up to three children,” Taylor said about Valley Beach’s response.

Taylor said he considers the membership policy unfair since he knows people who aren’t married yet have children together.

“We cannot consider that a family membership price,” Maitland told the Reflector about Taylor’s situation.

“A family is a husband, wife and three children under the age of 19. Family members can have up to five members,” she said when asked how Valley Beach defines a family.

If a family has more than five people, they are charged $20 per extra person. The standard family price is $255.

Maitland was asked if Valley Beach ever would be willing to change its policy on what’s considered families since there are many same-sex couples and families with unmarried parents.

“I just don’t have an answer for that,” she said.

However, Maitland added: “We might consider it, if Ohio considers it,” but she said if in that case, it doesn’t mean Valley Park would be required to change its policies since it’s privately owned.

Valley Beach, a self-declared “private Catholic swim club,” is in its 50th year of operation. The club is located at 2980 S. Ohio 61 outside of Norwalk.

Maitland was asked if she recognized Taylor’s name or his family.

“I just have his name from the Facebook messages,” she said.

Taylor, after discussing the situation with Maitland, said he initially was going to Valley Beach as a guest, but he has decided not to apply for membership.

“They lost all my business and my family’s business,” said Taylor, whose older brother has a child with his girlfriend. “None of them are happy.”

“We’re considering going to the (Norwalk) rec center because their family membership is considered your household,” he added.

When Taylor lived with his grandparents, he said he was allowed to go to the recreation center under their membership. He said he tries to support local businesses instead of going to corporate water parks or Cedar Point.

When was asked what he wants to see Valley Beach do, Taylor said he wants them to be more cooperative tolerant, especially since family units aren’t what they were decades ago.

Maitland stressed that in Taylor’s situation, “nobody was denied membership to Valley Beach.” The owner said the only time anyone is asked to leave or is refused membership is if they “get out of hand,” act obnoxiously or in a non-family-friendly manner.
Valley Beach doesn’t sell couple memberships, Maitland said.

If a man were living in an apartment or house with someone, Maitland said that man would have to buy a single membership — as would an unmarried man living with a woman who has children. In that case, she said the mother could have a family membership because she has children while the man would need to buy a single membership.

Valley Beach’s current policy is consistent with what the club has done in the past, Maitland said.

“This isn’t the first case of this. This is the first case that went boo-hoo about it,” she added.

The owner stressed that Valley Beach treats every member equally and with respect, regardless of their living or marriage situation.

"We have plenty of same-sex people,” Maitland said. “We treat them like anyone else.”

* * *
Here is the full Facebook correspondence between gay Norwalk resident Jeffrey Taylor and Kris Maitland, owner of Valley Beach Park, about a family membership. Each response remains unedited for spelling or punctuation.
Taylor: How much are memberships for a family of 4?
Maitland: A family of Husband, Wife & up to 3 of their children under the age of 19 is $265. If you have more than 5 in your family there will be an additional $20 charge per extra. Please let me know if you need anymore info.
Taylor: Ok. I just seen on your facebook where it says $255. Now what about same sex couple with two children? Do they qualify for a family membership?
Maitland: Im sorry, we do not consider that for our family membership. We will not deny you a membership, we do welcome everyone at Valley Beach, however the membership cannot be sold as a family. Are the children yours, his or both?
Taylor: So if we are legally married in another state and the law that requires Ohio to recognize same sex marriages would not qualify us as a family?
Maitland: No, we are a private Catholic swim club.

Comments

CrankyBalls

It wasn't a come back. I just don't agree with a lot of the garbage you've been spewing around.

truckin

so.....for that, you make a knowingly false statement on someones preference..?
because his preference is not the same as yours..?
boo hoo.
what a joke.

CrankyBalls

That's right, go cry about it.

all fact or all...

@trucking...As are you by assuming they are going to make out at a family park just for the attention. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

mayberrygazette

*someone's

all fact or all...

@ Bob..Amen, we all remember Casey Anthony and Susan Smith..Parents today think more of their own fun than raising their children as you said. Poor Parenting.

Lawyerintraining

At all fact....let's not forget the woman who drowned all her children them laid them on her bed I believe it was 3 boys and 1 lil girl...then calls her husband to tell him she had just killed there children or the movie Farrah faucet played in where she shot all 3 of her children in the car because the man she wanted to be with didn't want kids...see more parent killings of men and woman relations ships verses same sex relationships....makes me SMH

Lawyerintraining

Not that it really matters...but the said children are Mr. stories biological children...and VB should be ashamed of them selves...I received my early letter if you joined before May 1st it was 238.00 and 4 free passes to whom ever you chose to take as your guest..as well as you can have step children on your pass as well and these children may only live with either parent on weekends only...and that's fair over children who I'll repeat are biological children...for those who say men can't have babies...is it any different for those single woman who go to a sperm bank to pick out a father from a profile..I'll answer that for you NO!!!! As I stated above these are biological children... I for one am glad that I procrastinated on getting my membership this yr because after this article...I and my family will not be Re-upping our membership this year....SHAME ON YOU VB!!!! This is 2014....you are practically begging for members yet you turn down a paying family YES!!! A family...if you didn't know any information about this couple you would have taken there money in a heart beat...I hope you sleep well at night...and GOD BLESS YOU!!! To this loving family take your children and enjoy them where you are welcome...VB I am ashamed for you....SMDH

life of a parent

Good for you lawyerintraining

starryeyes83

The boyfriend is NOT a step-parent, legally or otherwise.

Boyfriends are boyfriends (gay or straight) and are not the same thing as stepfathers.

Lawyerintraining

@ starryeyes83...I never said the boyfriend was a step parent I said one of the men was the biological parent of the children...then I said on the form you fill out for VB allows you to add STEP CHILDREN....PAY ATTENTION!!!! so you can bring in step children who are weekend children at the most..with either there father/mother.... But this family who lives together can't join.....REALLY!!! read and comprehend befor you answer.....

starryeyes83

Check your spelling before you answer.

Lawyerintraining

Lol AWSOME come back really!!!...spelling is all you got...and starryeyes83 means WHAT??? Is it STAR or are you trying to say your SCARRY....SMH

starryeyes83

How old are you? Lowlifeintraining?

LOL.

Lawyerintraining

Old enough to correct your English...old enough as a military ret (to watch the don't ask and don't tell policy FAIL) due the the fact we can fight for our country no matter what gender we are!!!!

starryeyes83

Don't ask , Don't tell was regarding Sexual Orientation NOT gender. Who are you kidding?

all fact or all...

I would say you were the one acting ignorant and low. This blog is to post a comment, the comment doesn't have to be approved by you or be called names.

all fact or all...

@ lawyer...An old fellow posted on here once and spelled a few words wrong and some idiot had to mention it. His answer was I am 81 I don't have time to go back and run everything through a spell check, Quite humorous I thought. These people must not read the comments as you said but gives them something to do to spell check articles. Must be busy with over two hundred comments to check.lol. I understood exactly what you were saying.

Lawyerintraining

@ all fact or all fiction....thank you for understanding...starry what ever has not posted anything worth reading...just goes through and checks spelling or corrects what they think is there opinion...well when you make pizzas for a living taking orders over a phone is easy LOL

starryeyes83

getting too cocky and looking down at everyone else who doesn't agree with you will come back and bite you one day.

Most Wanted

Lawyerintraining, Valleybeach never denied these people membership. They said the FATHER and the two CHILDREN could get a family membership....the boyfriend would have to get his own membership. In the same way a MOTHER and her children could a family membership...her live in boyfriend would have to get his own independent membership. They are not discriminating because they are gay and they certainly were not denied membership.

JACKEL

Please not another Lib Lawyer !

Lawyerintraining

Please not another homophobic ....Jackel !

truckin

Why always the "homophobic" tag.....when someone just don't like something?
I don't like pea's am i now a peaphobe?
With that concept male pee pee don't belong up other male's poopers

all fact or all...

Why??read your comments!!

In my opinon

@aii..Took the words right out of my mouth!

Lawyerintraining

Again comments not worth reading...why bother food phobia WTH....stick to the topic

ISPSP

I am an admitted "Brussel sprout-phobe". I happen to like peas. Does that make either one of us immoral?

JACKEL

It is the same response if you are white and differ with a Black Persons view. Racists !

JACKEL

Lawyer in training, I am not addressing them ,I am addressing you. There are several people I know that are gay. I have no problem with them as long as they don't run around in front of my house grabbing their crotches.

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