Valley Beach owner says there are exceptions to 'family' membership

"I am not anti-gay; I just believe in the traditional sense of the family."
Joe Centers
May 15, 2014


As expected, a story in Monday's Norwalk Reflector about Valley Beach Park denying a gay couple a family membership is making waves.

Brad Maitland, who owns the club with his wife, Kris, said the club is not keeping anybody out, but stressed it is all about the family.

"After checking their Facebook, these guys have only been dating two weeks," Maitland said. "They just met. They told us they were a couple."

Jeffrey Taylor refutes that, however.

“We have not been dating two weeks,” Taylor said of his partner, Daniel Story. “We put it on Facebook two weeks ago. That does not make it official.

“We have been seeing each other for over a year. Our families have known each other since the ’80s. We were concerned about the children. ... We wanted to wait before we made it official.”

On Sunday, Kris Maitland said "A family is considered a husband, wife and up to three children."

On Tuesday, Brad Maitland said there are exceptions to that rule.

"A family membership has to be a man and woman living together in the traditional family sense," he said. "Not just a couple that has been dating a couple of months. This is a private club. There are many clubs out there with stipulations to join that club.

"I am not anti-gay. I just believe in the traditional sense of the family. These guys were not denied . ... Just not as a married couple. These guys just met. Just because they are living together they will not get a family membership."

Maitland said when people join they do "Facebook checking" and it is up to them whether or not to give them a family membership.

Taylor and Story, were denied a family membership even though they have two children.

"These guys were not denied," Maitland said. "We do have gay members. I do not think there is anything wrong with that.

"Usually once or twice a year there are people upset about that (rules about family memberships), but they don't go boo-hoo.

"I am just not going to sell a family membership to them at this point. We do sell family memberships to unmarried couples who have been living in the family sense. We do have gay members, but we do not sell them a family pass. The family pass is at our discretion. I am not doing it for same-sex couples.

"It is a club with our own rules. If they don't like our rules they can go somewhere else."

Valley Beach Park was started in 1965 by Don and Elva Bauer, Brad's grandparents. This is the park's 50th summer.

Maitland said preparations are being made for the May 24 opening.

"She's filling," he said about the pool. "We are getting ready."

* * *

Norwalk rec center also makes exceptions

Like Valley Beach Park, Norwalk Park & Recreation Superintendent Joe Lindenberger said he does make exceptions to what is considered a "family" when it comes to buying passes.

By definition, a family is a "husband and wife, children under 18 and full-time college students," Lindenberger said.

"We have been in process of evaluating our memerships and what we want to do with it," he said. "Some are strict like ours and some aren't as strict. We are talking to the mayor and park board to see if we want to make any changes."

A family pass at the Rec Center is $325 per year, which includes everything except racquetball and specialty classes, Lindenberger said.

"We have made exceptions in the past, and that falls on me," he said. "That is why we are looking at our rules. We want to be fair across the board."

Lindenberger said if an unmarried couple is living like a family, and they have proof, he will make exceptions.

"It's a tough situation. I am open-minded and we will evaluate the culture. We want to be all-inclusive and welcome everybody.

"This conversation started a month or two ago."


life of a parent

Way to go Norwalk Rec Center


I don't get it, what did the rec center do? They stated a family by definition is husband wife and children, also they are considering changes. They also want proof of a couple living together as a family. What are they doing that's do different?


Is the Rec Center privately owned? If not. Therein lies the difference.

modern concrete

the Rec is ran by the city of Norwalk, which is not a private clue. Hence the diffence.

JudgeMeNot's picture

When did it become okay to despise people who stand up for traditional marriage values?


Good question. I would say when they thought they could get money, attention and a free ride.

For other free benefits, perhaps?

life of a parent

What does standing up for equal rights have to do with a free ride?


I believe these men are the ones being attacked for being gay ,read the comments to see the evil hateful comments .You can have these values but we are not supposed to treat others with hate or discrimination . Christians need to love all people ,not just the church goers ,if not you are a hypocrite .i love a God enough to see the wrong by attacking others .One love.




It is absolutely amazing and perplexing to me why this many people care what other people do with their lives. Gays and lesbians do not necessarily bother anyone and my thought is if they don't bother me I won't bother them. Get a life and quit worrying about others sexual orientation.


Uh oh, I think you just opened a new can of worms! Silence can be your best friend!


It seems that these Catholics need to look no further than the example of Christ in the New Testament in order to gain insight as to how to behave in this situation. I believe the question is "What would Jesus do?"


Who cares? Jesus didn't own a private business.


Since when did not owning a private business have anything to do with being a homosexual?

Catholic Priests are Homosexual Child Predators and they are doing fine.


Jesus was gay?


TrollingMotors - I don't even know how to respond to your friggin stupid a$$ comment. You really need to get yourself a life.


Being non-religious, it seems that Jesus was the type of guy to accept and love anyone for who they are. But this is just an Atheist looking in.

modern concrete

"really" he have to be preached at over a private club!!!


I can't even comprehend your comment.

*Edit* - And if what your saying is about Valley Beach being a private club, I completely agree with you even though I am all for gay rights and marriage. However, Jesus did not live in a modern American democratic/capitalist society, so there was no such thing as a private club/business, so I answered in a historical and societal context. And even if he did, you would think that a supposed messiah would look over the laws of man in his judgments.

life of a parent

These people just keep digging themselves deeper and deeper! How ignorant! I am glad someone in this area is strong enough to stand for change


life really....CHANGE..couldnt of said it any better.. you just made his case. This is a change from the traditional bible based family. Everyone knows it is a change and I am glad you for one admitted it. I dont care if jack wants to lay down with jack and mary wants to lay down with mary. But do not tell me I have to look at jack and jack as if they were jack and mary. It is 2 guys with a kid. why try to make people feel bad if they find that a little strange not hateful just strange i do not want to comment but I am tired of this shoved in my face. I DONT CARE. Just live your life and let others live theirs. Why is being gay a daily news story.


It's a daily news story because gay people want it to be. I don't want to see queer love anymore than I want to see straight love out in public. Have you ever gone to cedar point on Father's Day? It's the ultimate slap in the face towards traditional family values since they all converge there for a special "gay day" gathering. Straight or gay, people don't need to see other people's public display of affection. I could care less what these guys do in private but unfortunately for them, around here they probably stick out like a $3.00 dollar bill. It's really too bad that local gay people don't have their own private place to take their families ( other than a campground).


I'm gay and do not want this to be a front page issue because it is not front page news. I may have a different stance if gay marriage were recognized in Ohio! It's not. I admit I would ask what defines a family membership and see if we could be on a membership together since we are buying a house together and have been together longer than most hetero marriages last. Please don't lump all gay people together in one group because we are not all attention grabbing and making issues where there shouldn't be one. At this point, gay people need to pick and choose the battles and I don't feel that whether or not we get a family membership at a private club is high priority. I feel that other battles take priority! This petty battle is not doing anything for equality. Sure, it wouldn't kill anyone if they were honored a family pass. None of you know them enough to whether or not they will be prancing around in speedos making out while other families look on or not. Believe it or not, most gay couples don't flaunt it. Some are in it for the reaction, but that rings true for many people or couples. Our lives don't play out like a bad porn! I am not into public displays of affection from gay or straight.

Driving home from work today, I probably saw atleast 5 groups going door to door with their bibles! That is shoving something down someone's throat! Gay people don't go door to door and preach the way of the gay! We have feelings and they happen to be for the same gender. You meet someone, you fall in love with someone and unfortunately the relationship can't go anywhere because we can't get married.


Re: "I probably saw atleast 5 groups going door to door with their bibles!"

Where was this occurring in Norwalk?

Many denominations are called by their faith to proselytize.

Would you say that many of the displays in gay pride parades do your lifestyle a disservice?


After reading this story, I have seen Valley Beach change their prior statement about what is considered a "family membership". In the first article, Valley Beach said they only give out family memberships to married couples, but now they say they give them to unmarried couples. Way to go Valley Beach, now you have dug a hole for yourselves, lied and contradicted yoursleves, and have made this into discrimination. It's still your business and you can run it how you please but it will be interesting to see how your business goes this year.

shovelhead's picture

Thanks for clarifying what was already said, Brad. You are not contradicting yourself at all. The only discrimination here is the right to own and operate your business the way you want. Don't let all of these people bash you for making a decision about how to run YOUR business. It is your place and your opinion. Everyone else can pound salt. Talk about discrimination.....what about the Maitland's?

These people work and save hard to scratch out a living and have the American dream of running a family owned business. Most of you are only worried about where you are going for lunch today. Quit making it a gay's getting old.


You're exactly right. They should not have to install special restrooms to satisfy a lifestyle they don't agree with. Not to mention it's got to be bad for business. I have no doubt that even in this day and age some people would be afraid to swim in the same water as gays, fearing they might catch a disease. Personally, I'm more freaked out by swimming into a sudden warm spot in the water, not to mention seeing band-aids floating by.

modern concrete

Spoken like a true American! Your business, your rules.
Don't like the rules open your own pond!!

modern concrete

Spoken like a true American! Your business, your rules.
Don't like the rules open your own pond!!

be for real

the example what would Jesus do is he would cast that awful homosexual demon out of them, that is what Jesus would do.