My attempt with this email is to reach David Steel - Columbus, GA YMCA.
I contacted you by phone in the early 2000's after being informed that my partner and I would not qualify for a family membership rate because the wording of your policy specifically limits the membership to a married man and woman. At that time YMCA in various locations across the country were reviewing this policy and making changes to be more inclusive of the communities they serve. I felt that it could only be a matter of time before Columbus, GA also adopted those changes.
I attended a health fair that my company hosted and spoke with the young girl running the booth to recruit for the Y. I explained to her that my family couldn't qualify for the family rate. She seemed stunned to hear this. She asked if I was married to my partner (I am..we have a marriage certificate from the state of Vermont). She seemed to think that should be fine...the Y she used to work at had gay families. I told her the wording excludes same sex marriages. I encouraged her to check for herself and let me know if she found different. Later when I passed the booth she informed me that she'd made a call. Nothing in Columbus has changed it would seem.
I've tried over the years not to think about this discrimination, but it is hard to ignore at times. When I give my money to the United Way to fund a community program that openly discriminates against a portion of the community it serves....when I take our children to swimming lessons at our local Y and imagine the day I have to explain to them that the Greater Columbus YMCA has decided that we aren't a family... when I have to disillusion your own employees to the archaic policies of an organization that they so clearly hold in the highest regard....these are times I find it difficult to manage my frustration over this issue. YMCA's all over the country are stepping up to do what is fair and what is right...when will Columbus?
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