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

Lawyerintraining

DD 214 filed at the court house....matter of public record...there's not picking here these are actual facts...and hence the reason they dropped the don't ask don't tell policy..called equal rights...again comprehend what you are reading...guessing your not military or you would have known about a DD 214.....SMDH

In my opinon

@starry...Military people take an oath to protect and serve the citizens of this great country. NOT just the people you feel need protecting. With your hateful remarks it makes a person a little angry. I DON'T think or hope you don't realize how angry and hurtful your comments are.

Lawyerintraining

WOW!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! "IN MY OPINION" very well said and thank you for supporting the military..we need more people like you...your comment was greatly appreciated ;)

starryeyes83

@ In My OP

MILITARY PEOPLE? you mean like My dad and uncles who served in Korea, my grandpa who served in WW2 , how about my great - uncle (WW2) who survived being shot down over the sea of Japan ( caught on war film and documented)? Nephew in Iraq or three more of my family members who were in Vietnam? You mean those vets in my family?

Who the hell do you think you're talking to, a kid? I'm well over 21, and WELL entitled to my opinion and IF you and your cry baby buddies don't like it after putting it out there in a public domain -- TOO BAD!!

My family members fought and served, and yes, damn near died, so that this new generation of gay crybabies who can't keep their tools in their pants, can lie and manipulate a private business. IN order to HURT and DISCREDIT a private business. Or manipulate a newspaper .. It's gay people pulling cheap goddamn tactics to further an agenda ,like that, I don't agree with.

Don't YOU EVER preach to me about Military again!!!

In my opinon

I also have had family in the military for centuries!! I have pictures sorry, tin templates of GG-grandfather in the civil war fighting for freedom. I also lost family in WW 1, WW 2, Korean Conflict, Vietnam so your no martyr in my eyes. I was raised we fought for everyone's freedom, and because of the don't tell policy not being in effect there may have been a gay man fighting next to your relative maybe even saved a life or 2. I don't know how you were raised but it must have been with anger and prejudices. And using the lords name in vain isn't going to make me back down from my beliefs!!!!!

starryeyes83

Give it a rest. your not special

In my opinon

"You can't handle the truth"

starryeyes83

says you god'damn it.

ladydye_5

My husband fought for my freedoms to do what I choose. I can capitalize whatever I choose. YOUR god is not my god. I do not need to capitalize anything! Pick and choose your battles. I will fight till my dying breath for the freedoms my husband fought for. There is a freedom of religion. I do not believe your god is the ONLY god. I do not need to capitalize the word. Just because we do not see your way does not mean we are useless and breathing your freedom air. Are you just a lawyer in training or are you a veteran? BIG FRIGGIN difference.

Lawyerintraining

Thank your husband for his service time... Greatly appreciated!!!

In my opinon

@lady....I thought all religions capitalized their higher power, silly me. I don't believe Layer said anything about her God being the only God that you got so fired up.

In my opinon

@starry...I figured that out after your first comment. I feel sorry for you. You seem to be a very angry person.

Lawyerintraining

;) ;) ;) ;) ;) Luv the support and respect....thank you for breaking the comment down and making it understandable for some!!!!

starryeyes83

Don't really care what you think. Anger is only with twits like you who push your beliefs and lifestyles down every one else's throat and cry and whine when you don't get bowed down to.

formercitizen

I love how you say "but none will produce any facts" when you yourself didn't even produce any facts for your claims.

beernsmokes2's picture
beernsmokes2

And the smiters shall be smitten or is it smoten with the sodomites and the halfpipes,,,,bla bla bla...The Bible was a science fiction novel that was rewritten for the Catholic agenda.

CrankyBalls

I'd sure like to know what you consider the "Catholic agenda" to be?

beernsmokes2's picture
beernsmokes2

Just what the inquisition started, to convert all Muslins and Jews. One religion.

CrankyBalls

Mr. Bible basher, do your homework. There was never any organized effort to convert Muslims and Jews. Christians and Jews descend from Isaac while Muslims come from Ismail.

ladydye_5

My question is what about the lesbians, who would not technically be sodomites? Is everyone only worried about the men?

ISPSP

Excellent point!

In my opinon

@lady...see even beer...capitalized Musslin and Jew., just saying. It was the way we were brought up.

starryeyes83

...and you spelled it wrong!

In my opinon

@starry..Checking all the new post are we? What are you going to do when this post has lost it's enthusiasm

starryeyes83

Back at ya

mojorising

Oh, facts like science and stuff?

gennycreamale

Who cares let them in. Their money spends just like the other person. Just don't get into splash fights in the water and all well be good!!

truckin

They will let them in..
Just not at a DISCOUNT!

deertracker

Why no discount?

Lawyerintraining

Lol right gennycreamale

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