Lesbian Couple's Family Denied Season Pass to Ohio City Pool

Thursday Jul 10, 2014
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  (Source:NBC4i.com)

On the Parks and Recreation page for the city of Galion, Ohio's website that describes the municipal pool, they promise "to provide you and your family with a full serve, safe, quality aquatic center operation." That is, unless your family has same-sex spouses.

When Melody Mohn of the Ohio city of Galion, located 60-miles from Columbus, called to apply for a family pass to the city's public pool, her request was denied. The reasoning? Mohn is raising her three children with her lesbian partner, and the city will only issue passes to families with a mother, a father and up to three children.

Mohn, who had been issued a family pass for past summer seasons, contacted local officials.

"I just figured they would realize it was an old ordinance and give me permission right away," said Mohn. "I mean, it's a pool pass."

City officials are standing by the ordinance as written, however.

According to WTVN radio, a family pass to the city's pool would cost $120. Now each individual visit will cost Mohn $16. This cost of swimming will add up. "We would come almost every day," Mohn says.

The issue of wording came up at a city council meeting Tuesday.

"The proposed wording is that we change it to a family or a "household" pass and it would allow for two adults and three children," said Galion City Council Member Sarah Capretta.

"They want to make sure that they word it properly so that it can include more people in the city of Galion," Capretta added. "We have a lot of grandparents taking care of grandchildren, aunts and uncles taking care of nephews and nieces and we want to make sure that we include all of those people to make everybody eligible to be able to use the facility because that is what it is there for."

Since the proposed changes will have to be reviewed by the Parks Department, a speedy resolution for Mohn and her family seems unlikely.

The United States has a long history of swimming pool discrimination.

Jim Crow laws in the South maintained "white only" pools.

Groucho Marx, who was Jewish, was accepted to Los Angeles' exclusive Hillcrest Country Club with the promise that he would not use the pool, he remarked, "My daughter's only half Jewish, can she wade in up to her knees?"

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