Petition Started To Support Same-Sex Couple Rejected By Roanoke Club

Trinkle_GranadosA few days ago I posted about Will Trinkle and Juan Granados, a gay Virginia couple denied membership to the Roanoke Athletic Club because of their sexuality.

In response to that story, Mark Lynn Ferguson has started a petition urging the club's corporate owner, Carilion Clinic, which is also the largest health care provider in the state, to grant Trinkle, Granados and their son access to the club.

From the petition:

Who denies a 2-year-old access to a pool on a hot day?

Apparently, Carilion Clinic does. On May 15, Will Trinkle, a real estate agent in Roanoke, Virginia, applied for membership at the Roanoke Athletic Club, a gym that is owned by the regional medical provider Carilion Clinic. He and his partner Juan Granados wanted to take their 2-yeard-old son Oliver Trinkle-Granados to the gym's outdoor pool during the summer months.

Only children on family memberships are allowed to use the pool, so Trinkle signed up for a family plan. His application was accepted and processed, clearly 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. According to Trinkle, the representative said that the company was "‘tightening policies’ so no families like us would ever ‘get as far’ as we had.” The representative went on to claim that Roanoke Athletic Club is following Virginia state law, which does not recognize same sex marriage.

To support this petition, and in turn a family headed by a same-sex couple, click HERE.


  1. Chad says

    I keep writing my comment and then erasing it, mostly because I can’t really defend it. Basically, it comes down to this, I think what these guys are doing is the right thing. Fighting for equality. Showing their child that its important to stand up for yourself.

    I just wouldn’t pursue this personally.

  2. GregV says

    I would never join a gymwith such policies and if I did already, I would quit (as, I suspect, would most of the straight people in my life).
    But the real problem here is that 57% of Virginians voted two years ago to take the radical step of actually changing the state constitution to ensure that families like this are not treated as equals.
    Stories like this need to be told over and over to the public so that people in MN, WA and ME realize they are not voting on some abstract concept that doesn’t hurt real people; they are voting to tell some kids that they aren’t good enough to take swimming lessons with kids from the states’s legally-favored families.
    It should be no surprise that Roanoke is is in the same state whose government was fighting in 1967 to imprison the Loving family in 1967 because the color of their skin made their marriage “unbiblical.”
    “Virginia is,” indeed, “for Haters” at a rate of 57%.

  3. Robert In WeHo says

    Be careful using It’s run by an extreme right wing consulting firm as an effort to skim data about liberal leaning thinking, per Bill Maher…

  4. peterparker says

    @ROBERT IN WEHO: I believe you–or perhaps it is Bill Maher?–have confused with some other organization.

    The site,, was founded by Ben Rattray, a senior at Stanford University. Rattray has stated that he was inspired to start the site following statements his brother made to him after coming out of the closet. According to Ben Rattray, his brother told him that what hurt him more than negative reactions to his sexual orientation were friends/family who stood by and did nothing to support/protect him. Rattray reported feeling deep shame at having failed his brother. It was at that point that he decided to abandon his plans to become a wealthy hedge fund manager and instead founded to promote effective collective activism for social change. will accept almost any petition. The only petitions that are banned are those that are against gay rights or those that seek to undermine unions.

    Revenue at comes primarily from large groups such at Amnesty International and the Humane Society that pay for the hosting of their petitions.

    You can read more about Rattray and the site here:

  5. Icebloo says

    I would love to sign the petition but I am boycotting because it’s run by an extreme right wing group and every time you use it they make money !

    Can we use a different website to create a petition ?

  6. Tekknokat says

    If you put in your browser, the result is a lingerie store from Denmark, and if you click “About Change” you get comments including “every part of the bra should support the best of every woman. And she should experience the best quality for the best price.”

    I remember the “Change” organization Bill Maher is talking about, but I don’t know where they are anymore. It was “Citizens For A Change” and they don’t have the url of, I used to get their newsletter because somebody at my job signed me up for it, and it was very “cult-ish.” That was years ago, around 2002, I don’t even know if they are around anymore. I never missed an episode of Bill Maher, and kept my subscription at HBO for that reason only, and this had to be before Real Time, you are talking “Politically Incorrect” at Comedy Central days when that old organization was around, and still might be, at a different url with a different configuration.

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