Boy banned from Virginia swimming pool because he has two Dads

Posted at 7:56 AM, Jul 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-04 08:08:46-04

Roanoke, Va. (WTVR) – A same-sex couple with a two-year old son has been denied access to a Roanoke health club’s swimming pool.

Will Trinkle, a real estate agent, applied for a membership at the Roanoke Athletic Club on May 15, a gym that is owned by the regional medical provider Carilion Clinic. According to, he and his partner Juan Granados wanted to take their 2-year-old son Oliver Trinkle-Granados to the gym’s outdoor pool during the summer months.

However, club policy states only children on family membership plans are allowed to use the pool. When Trinkle tried to sign up for a family plan his application was initially accepted and processed, listing him, his same sex partner, and their child as members.

Nine days later, a representative from the gym contacted Trinkle and told him that his application was processed by mistake. A representative for the company told Trinkle that the Roanoke Athletic Club was complying with Virginia state law, which does not recognize same sex marriage.

The move by Carilion has put many at odds with the company, the healthcare provider operates seven hospitals in Southwest Virginia, more than 150 other medical practice sites, and a new high-profile medical school that recently launched in partnership with Virginia Tech.

Now a petition is gaining momentum, asking that Carilion give equal access to all families, married and unmarried, same sex and opposite sex, and that it extend full benefits of the Roanoke Athletic Club family membership to Trinkle’s family and all other unmarried couples who live together.

This isn’t the first accusation of discrimination against the company, last week the Roanoke Times reported that a maintenance worker at Carilion Clinic endured discrimination and racial harassment that included the display of shackles and a noose in his workplace. That maintence worker has since filed a lawsuit against the company.