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

Betherella

I'm sorry this happened to you guys. I think as long as children have loving parents, it doesn't matter who they are. There are plenty of relationships with a man and woman where they fight all the time, and children see that. There's nothing okay about that. It makes me sad how hateful people are, just because someone doesn't believe the way they do. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, and not push it off on others. I hate how people claim to be so religious, yet they spread so much hate because people are different. Everyone should respect how other people live, whether or not they agree with it.

Truth2u

So, lets just turn over the kids to ex cons if they love them and don't fight! Such a ridiculous ideology.

life of a parent

What do gay couples have to do with ex cons?

deertracker

There's no such thing as an ex-con unless the conviction was overturned!

life of a parent

Well said

In my opinon

@Beth...You are so right, gender does not make the perfect parent. Love is number one>

Betherella

p.s. People try to say gay people "choose" to be gay. Why would anyone choose to be gay, and have people hate them and treat them like a lesser person because of it? I'm sorry to say, but to those who don't like it, people are born gay. It isn't a choice. I hope someday the hateful people will understand that.

Truth2u

Why do people choose to drink and have people hate them?
It doesn't matter what they are, what matters is how they ACT.
If a man is so horrny does that excuse him going out committing adultery and fornication? If you say those acts aren't bad then theres no reason to discuss anything further.

Betherella

That comment has nothing to do with what I said. You're talking about people who actually choose to do those things. My point is that gay people don't choose to be gay. I won't argue with you about it. Obviously, you're one of the people full of hate I'm talking about. Having so much hate is bad for the soul.

Gdusty86

Yes Jesus spoke about the greatest commandment is to love each other ! Read your bible ,it's not for others to judge ,only a God .

Dr. Information

@bether. So the lady I know who was married, had children, left her husband for another woman then left her and married another man had no say in what she did and made no choices?

KindofKick

Of course she did...But it wasn't because she was gay/straight, it was because she was a bad wife.... Straight people do the same thing in marriage...You can't choose your sexuality. If you can, then when did you choose to become straight?

Dr. Information

You simply have no clue.

betrump

Pot, meet kettle.

Nettiewata

I disagree with the idea that people are born gay. God made Adam and then made a mate for him called Eve. A WOMAN not a man. If he had meant for us to be with the same sex he would have given us all the same sex organs. Even if you don't believe God created us it still doesn't change the fact that we have different genitalia made to fit together. It was naturally made that way to create life. The fun stuff was just extra! LOL But seriously I don't understand why this is so hard for people to grasp this concept.

Lawyerintraining

Well if your going to go that rout God also told Eve to NOT eat the forbidden fruit...and what did she do she BROKE THE D**N RULES....so rules have been broken from day one...what makes this any different...really if your going to quote it quote the whole thing..woman or man God put enough people on this earth that you will find someone some day...people get married and divorced daily and remarried and divorce again...so I suppose that's ok..when a same sex couple last longer than man and wife...wake up!!!

truckin

so you are saying...
being gay is another "broken" rule..
Good for you, you finally get it.

Lawyerintraining

People like you can't make a full statement...really RE-READ THAT....I said EVERYONE breaks the rules..as in non married couples step children divorced and remarried..so if you a paper that said you are perfect and have never broken a rule....I for one would love to see that....

beernsmokes2's picture
beernsmokes2

Actually, in the Bible, God made Lillith for Adam. Eve was Adams 2nd wife....

Lawyerintraining

Again what version of the bible are we going to use old testament...new testament..and Cain and Able killed....so murder is ok to...next your going to say Moses was a great man for 10 commandments...when God sent him to the mountain as a punishment for murder???? To many right and wrongs to be quoting bible terms...my opinion

mojorising

Science?

JMOP

So they're trying to burn them by running to the paper. Valley Beach will do just fine without their business.

uturnlouie

give people and inch and they will take a mile, i swear. Valley Beach, stick to ur guns, If those people want to have that kind of a life style, so be it, They will be judged by their maker not by any of us. To the couple, buy a family pass, one of u by a single pass and go enjoy the summer, Stop cramming your life style on others. Live happy and quietly and cool at the beach.

fedup2

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

fedup2

p.s. doesn't Freedom Valley offer swimming?

life of a parent

So segregation is the answer here?

lolsillypeople

men only no children....21 and older

lynn86

Yes and they dont allow straight couples, go figure......

MR.PERFECT

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

humpty_dumpty

You can call me names i could lower to calling you names but in todays america if you call a freak thats to stupid to realize marriage was ment to be between a man and a woman names your unamerican. IT WAS ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE!!!! sick freaks

I applaud them for keeping the trash out nobody wants there kids to see 2 freak men together.

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