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

thirtysomething

The bottom line is that this couple was treated EXACTLY the same as every other unmarried couple who wants membership. Years ago we had a child who lived with us for the summer. That child was not allowed on our family membership. He was not a part of our family. That's the rule for everybody. We paid for him separately. The reason they're so angry is because we are supposed to break the rules for one individual so that we can be politically correct. Valley Beach has every right to define the membership any way they want. End of story, stop crying about it and buy your separate membership like everyone else.

lolsillypeople

well said, that's exactly right

modern concrete

Free enterprise allows people to open any legal business. In American you can name your business whatyou want,run it as you see fit. As a American you can choose to use their services or make other
choices. It its all about choices. For every action their ts a reaction. VP as a private club can run their business as they see fit. Citizens of Norwalk have the right to go there or the rec-center, or even the beach! This is the great thing about being American,You can be who you what to be, go where you want or join or not join. VP has that same right. That is being a American!!
God bless to both parties!

13.faces

Hey danny.....ur fat lol

Now The Rest of...

Bottom line, Valley Beach is a private club, has the right to refuse membership to anyone with out any reason, these two men has the right to take their business to anywhere that will accept their money, its simple. For those who won't go to Valley Beach an equal or greater number will go there. Every time the issue of gay marriage or the state recognizing has been before the voters it has been defeated in every state that it appeared on the ballot. Only activist judges who
would rather make law than interrupt it has made it accepted.

lolsillypeople

and then Mr and Mr. couple when your 15 minutes of fame run out heres a suggestion for you, go out to Freedom Valley and try to get a membership, and when they give you one but deny your children well go to the reflector and cry again that your kids don't have rights....at least youll get another 15 minutes

13.faces

I refuse to take my family there after watching dude shotgun a beer (after watching him smash a 12 pack in the couple hours we were there) and hop on that nasty a$$ tractor n drive it into the water. Respectable catholic family????? More like hillbillys with a watering hole.

neo.rr.com

Hahaha. Case and point.

starryeyes83

Unless the boyfriend ( dating) has any legal rights to either kid, guess what?

That's NOT considered a family.

Same if it was a man , his kid and his girlfriend (not the bio- mother)

Boyfriends and girlfriends are not the same thing as a "step - parents".

KindofKick

This is the only comment of yours I agree with. But, I know families who have put other children on their pass that weren't family & didn't look one bit like each other! They should keep to their rules for every person.

starryeyes83

I didn't look a thing like my mom. Nor, did I have her last name after she remarried. Looks can be deceiving.

However, if YOU knew people were faking to get in that's on YOU to report them.

Lawyerintraining

I didn't look a thing like my mom???? Ummm thinking it should say i do not look like my mother at all...you are a human I'm guessing...so you can't be a THING...thing is an object. Hahahaha

starryeyes83

It's an old expression. Don't take it so literally.

You will never make lawyer. Pizza maker maybe, but not a lawyer.

Lawyerintraining

As you must be..did you even make it through high school..you can't speak your quotes are way off..and old expression maybe your beside yourself because you didn't look like your momma...or are you just outright pissed because I have a job ;)

starryeyes83

Troll. crack a law book and study child custody arrangements. You haven't provided one true LEGAL aspect of anything.

So much for your username. You're a joke.

Lawyerintraining

Baaaahaaaa someone's getting cranky LMBO

starryeyes83

You wish,

You're clearly not mature enough to be a lawyer, you'll never make it.

13.faces

I seriously don't understand people. How can someone say oh the bible this god that blah blah blah and turn around and judge someone? Faith has taught us to be tolerant and caring and compassionate about our fellow human beings. Just because someones views/values don't match ours doesn't give us the right to judge people. Leave that to the man upstairs (if there is one). Blind hate is an evil thing. Just cuz some dudes like to play hide the sausage wit another guy or chicks that scissor fight with another chick people hate them without even knowing them. Never know, that person u judged could b the coolest and realest person u ever met but u will never know because u don't agree with their sexual orientation. Ain't nobody got time for that sh1t. Lifes to short. Make the best of it.

goreflect

Might want to double check my renewal Valley Beach! Notice the different last names on the adults? We are UNMARRIED! Guess we cannot have a family membership anymore. That is ok - I would not want to go to a "catholic" park with the double standards that you obviously have!

CrankyBalls

Some of you people on here are just plain idiots. The Catholic Church has NOTHING to do with this story. It's about whether or not these guys can get a family membership.

mikeylikesit's picture
mikeylikesit

other than sodomy, you're correct..

ladydye_5

Why does everyone think that GAYS are all into sodomy? Pretty sure lesbians are not into that much sodomy. Yep lesbians are homosexuals too. I know....MEN think that lesbians are some how sexier than homosexual men. A lot of men will watch hours of girl on girl porn while enjoying the heck out of it....but as soon as they see some homosexual men .......all hell breaks loose and the bible quotes come out and the wrath of the Sodomites reigns down.

Lawyerintraining

@goreflect.....well said..I have lived here my whole life and have had memberships at VB...honestly this is the first time I have ever heard of it being a catholic park

CrankyBalls

Years ago, valley beach would close each week for 1 day. On those days, all of the local nuns were able to use the pool in privacy. We just don't have nuns around here anymore.

Lawyerintraining

Sister Carolyn Marie Schaffer...is a Nun and lives here

CrankyBalls

O.k. Well I'll just say we don't have a convent full of nuns anymore.

Now The Rest of...

13.Faces-Your disgusting comments on sexual acts are a new low when trying to defend a point of view. Your comments are some of the most homophobic I have ever read. Maybe a basic grammar, spelling and overall writing course is in order..

starryeyes83

phobic means to be afraid of ... It's crass but its the truth.

13.faces

Lol go buy a sense of humor. Funny part is my GAY nephew literally urinated in his pants from laughing so hard after reading that. So if u seriously got butt hurt sux to b u brotha.

J Cooper

You my friend are a great example of the saying, "Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

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