Gay Couple Suing Roanoke Club for Discrimination

Couple & Attorney

Reporter: David Tate

Roanoke, VA - A Roanoke family is suing the Roanoke Athletic Club and its affiliate, Carilion Clinic, claiming they are the victims of discrimination. They are a gay couple with a 2-year-old toddler, and they say that's why they had their membership pulled.

The couple says they were discriminated against, but this lawsuit is actually about breach of contract.

Will Trinkle says during the application process at the RAC, he was open with who he was on the application and says the application was accepted.

It was months later when Trinkle was contacted and told the application was rescinded because of the composition of his family.

Trinkle maintains Carilion administration even told them criteria has been tightened at the RAC to ensure that other gay families would be ineligible. But the initial acceptance is the basis for the lawsuit, and the family says they want their contract to be enforced as well as compensation for violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

"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. We have come a long way but this shows we still have a long way to go," said Trinkle.

Carilion officials say they can't comment since it's pending litigation. The RAC's website defines a family as a husband, wife and children under 25 living at home. It's unclear when that specific criteria was added to the requirements.

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