Tag Archives: memberships

Virginia is for Lovers… well, not necessarily…

Recently an article was written by gayrva.com (see link) about a lesbian couple, and their daughter, being denied a family membership at the American Family Fitness Center on Brook Road in Richmond.  Oddly, the couple had already held a “family membership” at AFF for some time but it had lapsed.  When they wanted to renew their membership and include their daughter the staff’s excitement over their return quickly became dismissive and rigid.  “It is policy.”  “We only allow family memberships to those who meet the Virginia definition of family – a man and a woman…”  Really??  This family that they rejected is a good friend of ours.  Anyone who knows them will tell you that they exemplify the best of parenting. They are family focused, faith-centered, and driven by their hearts – for the betterment of all.  The AFF staff’s solution was to offer one woman with the child a family membership and the other parent to sign up as a single adult.  Oh sure, that makes perfect sense.  No problem.   Although the storyline infuriated me, I had to laugh out loud when I saw Wikipedia’s description of American Family Fitness.   from Wikipedia >> AFF’s mission is centered around providing a positive fitness experience for the entire family except for gay and lesbian families  http://www.gayrva.com/2010/08/03/american-family-denies-family-membership-to-lesbian-couple/ 

What I have to wonder now is: will AFF ultimately lose memberships, on principal, because of their policy and exclusionary practices (and if they do, will anybody know about it); or, will AFF become the fitness center of choice for hardline right “families” who don’t want to mix with the unenlightened – guilt by association.   I’m sure there is a less black and white response to that question – and I won’t presume that membership with AFF implies support of their policy – but I’m wondering … can’t help but wonder…

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