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Entries in Health Clubs (2)

Thursday
Jul052012

Gay Dads Sue; Health Club Reverses Stand on Memberships

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a lawsuit was filed against the Roanoke Athletic Club by a same-sex couple for offering them a "family membership" then revoking it, the club today changed its policy.

Will Trinkle, 54, and his partner Juan Granados, 40, filed a lawsuit against the club on June 27 for breach of contract and were seeking to have their family membership reinstated.

The Virginia couple, who have been together for eight years and have a 2-year-old son Oliver, said the club had discriminated against them because they are gay.

But today, the RAC posted a new policy on its Facebook page: "A household consists of a primary member and up to one additional household member that permanently lives in the household, and any of their dependent children under the age of 22 who also reside in the household on a permanent basis ...Club dues will not change; dues for the Household Membership will be the same as the Family Membership it is replacing."

"It is really defined on Facebook," an RAC club spokesman told ABC News when asked if they now offer discounted memberships to gay families. "That is definitely what it says -- for public knowledge."

The athletic club is owned by Carilion Clinic, one of the region's largest medical providers. They have a company-wide nondiscrimination policy that bans bias on the basis of sexual orientation.

Eric Earnhart, spokesman for the parent company, Carilion Fitness, told ABC today said, "We have not yet received lawsuit information and can't comment on litigation."

Trinkle, a real estate agent, and Grenados, a marketing director, alleged in their lawsuit that they had been mistreated because they were same-sex parents.

"Actually it was like someone punched us in the stomach," Trinkle told ABC. "It's from a place we couldn't imagine that there would be this kind of discrimination and this kind of attack. We have come a long way but this shows we still have a long way to go."

ABC News was unable to reach the couple or their lawyer John P. Fishwick Jr., to find out if they would now drop the lawsuit.

At the time, they had been told they could not have a family membership because the club defined family as "husband, wife and their children ages 21 and younger living at home."

Without the family rate of $112 a month, each of the partners would have had to pay $69 for a total of $138 and their 2-year-old child would be included, according to the club.

The couple said their initial acceptance, then rejection, was the basis for the lawsuit and they are seeking enforcement and compensation under the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

Trinkle said he had recently moved his offices and decided to join the club so he could use the RAC on lunch breaks and his son Oliver could swim in the pool.

On May 15, Trinkle applied for membership at RAC and was encouraged to sign up for the "family" option. The couple filled out the application truthfully, including listing the "member name" and "spouse name" and Oliver Trinkle Granados as their "dependent child."

"There was no ambiguity," he said.

The initiation fee was $50 and the first month's membership was $112, he said. Both were posted to his credit card.

The couple began to use the facilities, but on May 23 Trinkle got a call from the director of operations that the club had made a "really big mistake," and they did not meet the definition of family, the lawsuit alleges.

"We tried to resolve this with Carilion's leadership," said Trinkle. "We were not only told that they were sticking with their decision to kick us out, but because of us, they were 'tightening policies' so no families like us would ever 'get as far' as we had."

The lawsuit alleges that the RAC manager in reviewing their application thought that Granados was "Juanita" and not "Juan."

A petition on Change.org has called on the owners of the club to allow same-sex families to get memberships. So far it has 40,000 signatures.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan132012

Most Aren't Planning for New Gym Membership, Renewals in 2012

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Losing weight and getting in shape are always top New Year’s resolutions, but following through on those goals is apparently a challenge for many people.

A new survey commissioned by CouponCabin.com shows 74 percent of U.S. adults report they won’t be getting a new gym membership or renewing an existing one this year.

Seven percent of adults admitted they have signed up for a gym membership as a New Year’s resolution and quit before the year was up.  A whopping 70 percent of those who quit did so within five months of signing up.  Nine percent of those polled admit they quit almost immediately, in January, and 15 percent called it quits at the gym in February.

Of those who do have a gym membership, 53 percent go once a week or more while 15 percent go once a day or more. Ten percent of folks with gym memberships go less than once a month.

Men are more likely to go to the gym than women, 79 percent to 67 percent.

The survey of 2,646 adults was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio