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

ladydye_5

I bet you enjoy some girl on girl action in the movies or on your computer though huh?

KindofKick

Adam and Eve never existed. Even the pope understands this. So your argument is invalid.

Lawyerintraining

The Pope also took away purgatory....so he changed the rules sort of Like the Presidents do by changing hands in the White House.... So will the next Pope reinstate purgatory????? Sshheeeesss use to be politics and religion was taboo now love,sex marriage and homophobic is taboo as well...WTF is this world coming too????

KindofKick

No. What's fact is fact. My point is the Pope is finally fessing up. People can change the rules (law) all they want to, but fact is fact. Gay men and women don't choose to be gay. Whether you want to say they do or not the fact is they don't. Doesn't change the fact. Gravity exists. Whether you believe it or you don't.

Gdusty86

So closed minded ,gay marriage is legal they should be allowed to be on the family deal ,they are a family .Valley Beach is wrong and I smell a lawsuit .Why are they trash ? I think the real trash is exposing themselves with hateful comments ,men have been watching porn with two chicks and that by the way is a gay act ....I think whom is without any sin cast the first stone ,or be a kind neighbor and don't hate people because of race or religion or sexual preference .

Lawyerintraining

WELL SAID Gdusty86

life of a parent

^^^ones comments speaks volumes of his or her own character

beernsmokes2

Its better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt...

Kottage Kat

beersmokes2,
Thank you

life of a parent

Comments like that are exactly why HUMAN BEINGS are in the predicament they are!

be for real

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

sooooomad

Its true. They absolutely have the right to deny their pass and we absolutely have the right to boycott them and bring their narrow mindedness to everyone's attention! Dont sit here n quote what God said if you dont follow every word of the bible. You people that "pick and choose" which scripture to follow are the same people that "pick and choose" which children to keep........ think about it....... ive never met two gay men that had children by accident! Furthermore, no one asked any of you to be in their relationship so why are you so worried who they sleep with? If you are a bible thumped than you should know its gods business to judge them, so how exactly is it wrong for them to "sin" but not you? Go eat your sin of your bacon wrapped shrimp and get a life!

togbert71

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

togbert71

So did you delete my post because I called them gay, told them to go away or the part when I said to stop whining? How about if I make it politically correct for you Mr. Reflector? Here goes:
Please homosexual persons leave the premises. And please stop all your complaining. Thank you.
Is that better for ya?

Gdusty86

Those loving people ,how very Christian of them .

Gdusty86

NOT!

MYthoughtsexactly

The majority of the comments to this story make me sick! I know both of these young men and their families. They are wonderful people who deserve the same rights as everyone else. 100 years ago, I would understand that so many people are making a big deal over the same sex couple. Hello everyone... this is 2014! Time to wake up, and start accepting everyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation. I mean seriously, the 'Catholics' that are claiming same-sex relationships are wrong... these same Catholics step out on marriage, are some of the most judgmental people I have met, think they are better than everyone, and our priests are out molesting little boys..... so if ANYONE wants to judge, I don't think it should be you. I went to Catholic School all my life. I believe in God. What I don't believe in is a faith that isn't accepting of EVERYONE. These young men deserve the same rights as everyone else. And, I don't blame them for not buying a family membership and a single... I would not go there based on my experience when looking into a membership. The lady wasn't rude or vulgar... but sometimes not accepting someone is more disrespectful than cussing or yelling at them. All I can say is, I love and accept everyone. I have many friends who are in same sex relationships. And I agree with the previous post that people don't 'CHOOSE' to be gay, just like they can't choose to NOT be gay just because you hypocrites won't accept them. To Danny and Jeffrey, I wish you the best life together. Don't worry about what these people are saying. And be sure not to judge them as they have judged you. That is all.

destinydawn

They are a wonderful family, shame on the nasty comments. Shame on Valley Beach.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Men lusting for other men or women lusting for other women are not the natural affections God created men and women to have for one another.

The only shame here is on the two men. Feel sorry for the children.

CrankyBalls's picture
CrankyBalls

thinkagain, If that's how you really think then I feel sorry for YOU. What stupidity on your part. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if you're gay and just afraid to come out of the closet. God created all life, and do you really think God loves one person's life more than another?

Heroin_County419

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

lolsillypeople

So sad that the people commenting here have made this story all about gays.....but then again that is exactly why this was REPORTED by the males,for the FAME. I do believed he also lied about the rec center membership, I did look it up and its NOT household. I find it funny that Freedom Valley can deny woman and children and that's OK? Good for you Valley Beach for Not letting people intimidate you to change the rules.

Foodforthought

I stand by Valley Beach. This is not a family and they do not deserve a family discount. They can pay the regular price and stop trying to make an issue out of something that isnt.

lolsillypeople

Why did this couple state to Valley Beach they WERE a married couple, but told the reflector they were dating? By the looks of the text messages I think Krissy was very professional and polite. Also no one complains about the rec center memberships are cheaper for in town residents. Does that make us out of towners discriminated against.

Whopper2013

I know I am going to catch hell for this but Valley Beach hasn't been a good place in a long while (ever since Brad and Kris took it over). Their "Pay As You Go" passes bring alot of trashy people to the place and they tend to get out of hand very quickly.

I also find it funny that they are trying to act like they are all about "Traditional Family Values" but yet they were "Living in Sin" for many years after the birth of their son before they actually got married. Also, their son is just as hypocritical as they are as he has 2 kids (very close in age) by 2 different women. Sounds like a "respectable Catholic family" to me.

lolsillypeople

Wow what a contradiction, So who exactly do you mean by TRASHY people.what makes a person trashy to you?

Whopper2013

People who basically go down there to get drunk while their kids run around unsupervised, leave garbage and empty cans laying around after they are gone, yelling vulgar language and subjecting young children to it-as well as secondhand smoke because they can't go 5 minutes without lighting up.

lolsillypeople

Yeah your right that was pretty low of you. But then again you must not be a member of Valley Brach and thank god they wont have to pick up your trash after you leave

lolsillypeople

and also at least the 2 kids are the BIOLOGICAL children with a MOMMY and DADDY.

starryeyes83

Which would make the Bio MOM and Dad the family ... not the boyfriend.

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