HRC Blog

Same-Sex Parents Denied Access to Pool Under Outdated City Ordinance

ohio flagPost submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern

Two moms in Galion, Ohio, were denied a family pass to the local swimming pool under an outdated city ordinance defining a family as one mother, one father and up to three children. 

Melody Mohn, one of the parents, has been going to the community pool for the past nine years with her four children. This summer, she wanted to add her partner, Hela Young, in the family pass. But when she asked the YMCA for membership, she was told that she would have to pay full price to access the pool. 

“We’re not the only same-sex couple, and we’re not the only non-traditional family, either,” Mohn told NBC 4.

Mohn took the issue to the Galion city council, whose members were not even aware of the ordinance. They promised to update the ordinance and re-evaluate the definition of a “family.”

A similar situation occurred in Virginia in 2012, when a gay couple was denied “family” membership to a fitness club. The couple filed a lawsuit and the club began offering “household” memberships instead of “family” memberships.

"We certainly don't want to do anything to prevent children and parents to go swimming in our pool," Carl Watt, Galion City Council president, told NBC 4.

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