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

starryeyes83

Pretty much that's what's happening , now. That's why it's being crammed at the rest of us all the time.

KindofKick

What if someone said that straight couples should stay in the closet? Don't come out because it's not okay in our society. This type of thinking happened back with interracial couples. People thought it wasn't right in our society. Now it's widely accepted. How does someone else's love life affect your life? Maybe gay couples could help the human race. I'm not sure if you've read the news at all lately, but the human race isn't doing so hot and it's not because of homosexuality. That should be the least of our worries. But alas, to each their own.

In my opinon

@watched..You need to worry more about the child molesters, rapist, murderers, thieves, cheaters, etc. Oh maybe you could read up on the young girls being took off the streets and school girls that are being sold to old men in foreign countries, not about whom should love who you think they should. IT IS GENTIC and could very well happen to a loved one of yours. No matter how much an apple wanted to be an orange it is genetically impossible!

betrump

Truckin, if you're married than your slippery slope argument actually makes sense.

mayberrygazette

*kin

JACKEL

I would have no problem with them as long as conducted themselves according to our moral standards. Some do ,and others are so obnoxious, like Military Uniforms in a Gay Parade. I don't see any Heterosexuals Parades with men and women running around grabbing their balls and vagina !

In my opinon

@jackel...Them? Can't bring yourself to say gay..Which moral standards? Cheating wives and husbands, molesting little kids, locking girls in basements and using them for their sexual pleasure, theives, murderers. Streight people are so without sin, right??

starryeyes83

So you're saying gay people don't have any of those behaviors, and never commit crimes? Really?

Kobayashi Maru

Ever watch a rap video? Plenty of men grabbing their privates and women petting themselves...

life of a parent

Ridiculous

life of a parent

Although a man and woman who are not married can have a family membership! I had it for years. Clearly they don't care about marriage

truckin

then you committed fraud and theft!

You are a law breaker and this point forward hold no credibility..

CrankyBalls

Who appointed you to be judge and jury?

truckin

can not dispute!

In my opinon

@truckin..Who's law? City? nope, State? nope, Federal? nope..(private property) Valley Park I don't think makes laws..rules yes, but selling to other non couples over the years really doesn't constitute even breaking rules.

truckin

No... but faking a contract to save some money, is the same as stealing money out of another's pocket..FACT.
But coming from a town were over 50% accept some form of government assistance and like the last survey only 27% of working (key word working) in Huron Co. even pay more in taxes than they receive back.. it is easy to see how "stick it to the man" is accepted.

betrump

Stop breathing my oxygen.

In my opinon

Ya, well if Bohner and his cronies in congress would pass a decent minimum wage bill people wouldn't need assistence. Oh that's right I heard on the news that Paul Ryan says the way to over come poverty isn't to feed them a bowl of soup, but through friendship and love. I don't see them getting that from you either.

starryeyes83

So then, IMO ... you would knowingly commit fraud. Is that it?

In my opinon

You are ignorant.

starryeyes83

typical answer from you. for anyone who doesn't agree with you.

Truth2u

Notice how the sodomites (its in the dictionary, look it up before you delete this post) suddenly pushed their agenda on every angle possible, pushing it in our faces with their 'pride'.

But its ok, they can win the battle called tolerance, but the end result will be accountability for being immoral.
I don't care if you believe the Bible or not, it doesn't change the fact that this lifestyle is immoral and deplorable. It also doesn't matter if you believe what the Bible says, when you die you will be judged for ones depravity.

Now, a message from the typical agnostics, atheists and 'gays' who preach tolerance but will insult and condemn this post, pick out typo errors, claim there is no God, but none will produce any facts or support besides their own logic which contains no absolutes.

starryeyes83

Don't lump everyone under the bible thumping card . I'm not a believer , but, I'm not a PC thumper , either.

Truth2u

Told you they would come out. And as I said, you don't have to believe the Bible, but if you don't you yourself have no bases to say its wrong, who are YOU to say its wrong, are YOU a god? But if one has absolutes then there is a foundation, which YOU don't have except for your own self righteousness which doesn't exist.

starryeyes83

They who? Either you support gay stuff or you don't.

I don't.

WTF are you meaning? Because you're contradicting yourself.

god, no If I was a believer ; I would be a Goddess!

VB is a private club like they said " these are the first ones who whined about it" ... Probably so they can take it to the media and boo hoo to get a free membership. .

These gay guys are after monetary rewards for taking it up the wazoo. Otherwise, move on.

truckin

It's not even like they can't have a membership, just not the discounted "family" membership

Lawyerintraining

the G in God is capitalized

starryeyes83

Only if you are a believer. I am not.

Lawyerintraining

Saw that one in your writing...suppose those of us fighting for your freedom your not a believer of them either...just another useless person breathing freedom air...SMH

starryeyes83

Military, you ? Prove it. Military don't pick fights on purpose which is what you have done since you been on here.

Pages