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Time to revisit membership rules

January 26, 2014

To the editor: I recently inquired about a family membership to the YMCA and Millsop Community Cente....

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Jan-28-14 3:11 PM

Very well said Dr. Gilman. Good luck!

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Jan-28-14 1:18 PM

RPG0340, I think you're missing the point. Dr. Gilman is asking for these establishments to revisit their membership rules, not because SHE can't afford membership, but because as a whole these policies are discriminatory and antiquated. "Families" consist of more than a married man and woman and their child(ren). They include grandparents, same sex partners or spouses and simply those who live together but are not married. Dr. Gilman is taking the opportunity to address the respective boards, not just for her benefit, but for all the other families that would benefit as well because THEY may not be able to incur the additional cost. I thank her for being an advocate.

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Jan-28-14 10:53 AM

RPG Your wasting your time. Next will be affirmative action.

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Jan-28-14 9:25 AM

Mom1981, how else does it look. A DOCTOR!!! Is complaining why she does not get a discount because she is in a domestic partnership with another woman. How about shut up and pay the fee, deal with it, or leave and pull her sponsorship?

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Jan-28-14 1:39 AM

This is outrageous! What is Millsop/Steubenville thinking? I'm thinking that they're not thinking and that once they review Dr. Gilman's appeal, they'll understand that by denying her family's membership (including her partner of 15 years), they are not truly living the Y mission, dedicating themselves to develop health and wellness of ALL members of the community. By the way, I checked in with my local Y and we include the adults who live in the home as members. Another Y in the next town defines family membership as any two members plus children -- no matter if they are life partners, same sex, different sex, grandparents, or siblings. Let's keep the pressure on! Hang in there Dr. Gilman!

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Jan-27-14 5:48 PM

I don't know about this same sex family issue, but maybe fat people should get free memberships where we tax the fast food industry to pay for the gym memberships. I bring this up since a lot of fat people live in WV and OH per the author.

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Jan-27-14 1:42 PM

RPG0340, your comments have been filled with assumptions and statements (that Dr. Gilman is "working the system, that someone is paying child support, that a family only includes one male father married to one female mother...) that are not only untrue, but are irrelevant to the topic at hand. The fact is that this YMCA has a policy which is discriminating against FAMILIES. It is my sincere hope that this organization was unaware of the discriminatory nature of this policy, and that immediate and necessary changes will be made.

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Jan-27-14 11:58 AM

RPG0340: I understand you won't change your views. I feel sorry that you see acceptance and inclusiveness as somehow undesirable. BTW, in many states, "the lady" is married.

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Jan-27-14 10:15 AM

Freedom1965, what you stated is exactly the problem with our world today. We just accept everything because we don't want to offend anyone. This lady is not married! It is that simple. A family is not made of 2 moms, 2 dads, or 1 dad and 3 moms, or 1 mom and 3 dads. I'm tired of being discriminated against when I go to the bank, the city utilities department, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings. A family is One male father, married to one female mother, and children and pets if applicable.

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Jan-27-14 10:10 AM

The last thing we need in this country is another barrier to exercise. Other than the 6 Steubenville affiliates, I couldn't find any other Y's in Ohio, W. Virginia, or PA that required the family membership to have a married couple. All of them listed family membership as including "2 adults and his/her children, through 24 years of age, sharing the same residence" OR "Two adults and all dependents 17 years and under residing in the same household or as reported on IRS return. Let's catch up!

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Jan-27-14 10:08 AM

Wowjokes86, I am glad that you realize that your attempts to influence my thoughts are futile. This lady may be a magnificent Dr., a great person, etc. She is trying to get a marriage discount. SHE IS A FLIPPIN DOCTOR! I'm sure she can afford it.

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Jan-27-14 1:27 AM

My wife and I have been YMCA members all our lives and think it's outrageous that a stable family with unmarried partners cannot qualify for family rates.

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Jan-27-14 12:05 AM

And "Steubenville elite" is an oxymoron. See the recent rape case behavior.

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Jan-26-14 11:43 PM

The previous responses to this letter are MISSING THE POINT. What is a family? And who are the YMCA and the local community center to define the family for the local community?!

The shape of families is changing. If local institutions want to survive in the 21st century, they must be more tolerant and accepting of diversity. Two moms? Two dads? Who cares? If they support the community -- work locally, pay taxes, support local businesses, pay memberships, and participate in civic activities -- they should be welcome in any city or town.

Bigotry is dying in America. Does Steubenville want to be part of the past or part of the future? Local institutions should change their membership policies to welcome diverse families and strengthen the concept of community!

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Jan-26-14 9:51 PM

I'm not going to waste my time going back and forth with you.. You are absolutely right about your own opinion but don't say something about someone having kids to get money or work the system.. As this woman is a very well known and incredible Dr. You don't know her history or why it took so long for them to have children. That is their business... Not yours.

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Jan-26-14 6:37 PM

I'll stay in and post comments as I please wowjokes86. Just because my views differ from yours does not mean I'm wrong. As for adoption, I know a heterosexual couple that had to spend over $25k adopting a child. One holds a Doctorate, the other a M.Ed. They were scrutinized for years and spent thousands of dollars to get ONE child. Do not lecture me on what you think I know or do not know.

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Jan-26-14 5:41 PM

Rpg0340 I had to create an account just so I could comment on your ignorance. As a member of the same sex community... I'm blown away by your intelligence on same sex couples having children... There are such things as anonymous sperm donors... In which there is no father or no child support involved.. Not to mention extra costs for the partner whom did not carry the child to have to legally adopt. So please before you think you know everything about same sex couples having children.. Do some research or simply stay out of it. Her post wasn't even about this but you had to go there.

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Jan-26-14 2:01 PM

Creekmomto3, I had to type this comment so that you understand how things work. 2 women cannot produce a child! That is factual, it is not up for debate, and cannot be altered. The state also says that a child must be paid for. If you question this I suggest that you ask any unmarried father of a child that pays child support. This is also not up for debate, the sate mandates that it be done, and just as sure as I'm writing this, they make the father pay. I said "working the system" not as a slam but rather in reference to the fact that people that adopt children are given state assistance, and the very good possibility that social services may have allowed her to adopt over a married couple that deserves a child because they are afraid of backlash over her "relationship status." I was not talking down about anyone, just stating how things "work." Did I not say that I applaud her for going about it the right way?

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Jan-26-14 12:58 PM

To RPG0340, I simply had to log in and respond to your ignorant comment. When I say ignorant, I mean the literal definition. DR. GILMAN is a highly educated, highly respected member of the medical community and is hardly a case of needing child support. She is more than likely in a better financial position than you are. That being said, she has every right to voice her opinion REGARDLESS of what her professional status is. Know your facts before you look to talk down to others.

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Jan-26-14 10:27 AM

I have multiple thoughts on this. First being that I applaud this woman's way of going about protesting this policy by pulling her professional sponsorship of YMCA instead of going on a smear campaign or saying how hateful or "racist" everyone is. Next, this person says that she has been in a domestic partnership for 15 years yet all of her children are under the age of 15. I see something wrong with that. Either someone is paying child support, or working the system. Next, I say to the author, "That's Life." Armed citizens have to deal with this type of discrimination all the time. All you can do is refuse to patronize that business. It is their right to run a business as they see fit.

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Jan-26-14 2:16 AM

What do you expect, Rachel ? You are dealing with people who are still living in the 1960's . . . maybe even earlier. Maybe if you had been born into the 'Steubenville Elite ' you wouldn't have had any problem joining either of these organizations.

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