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Virginia Gay Couple Sues Roanoke Athletic Club After Stripping Them Of A Family Membership

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Two Virginia-based gay men are suing an area health club after denying their son access to a swimming pool and stripping them of a family membership after learning they were a same-sex couple.

The Roanoke Times reports that Will Trinkle and partner Juan Granados -- who have been together for about eight years -- filed the lawsuit against the Roanoke Athletic Club and its affiliate, Carilion Clinic, last week.

Trinkle claimed that a club employee told him that although their membership application had initially been accepted, the couple and their son were not recognized as a family under Virginia law, according to the report.

Attorney John Fishwick said that Trinkle and Granados are arguing that the club's decision was a breach of contract and, as such, a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. "The underlying case is a contract case," he was quoted by the Times as saying. "The primary focus of the case is for this family to have the opportunities that other families have, and to have the contract that was signed be enforced."

Trinkle told ABC 13 he had been open about his relationship during the application process, adding, "Actually it was like someone punched us in the stomach...it's from a place we couldn't imagine that there would be this kind of discrimination and this kind of attack."

Local NBC affiliate WSLS 10 reported that Carilion spokesperson Eric Earnhart had thus far declined to comment, citing pending litigation. Still, the club's website "defines a family as a husband, wife and children under 25 living at home," according to ABC 13.

A change.org petition in support of the couple and their son has thus far drawn over 20,000 signatures. You can view that petition here.

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Gay Couple Sue Roanoke Athletic Club For Discrimination

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