If you call on Tuesday, don’t be surprised if you get a busy signal.
Starting at 8 a.m., hundreds of protestors are expected to flood the phone lines of the Mayor’s office and request that Don Robart and the City Council reverse a decision which prohibits married gay couples from acquiring discounted gym memberships at the
According to a Facebook page created by Shane and Coty May, callers will be prompted to repeat the following scripted remarks and claims:
• All other gyms in the area welcome LGBT couples, and it’s an embarrassment to our city that the Natatorium, which is run by the city, does not.
• The Nat’s current policy treats same-sex couples as second-class citizens.
• Mayor Robart’s excuses for not changing the policy are unfounded and have been proven wrong by the ACLU and outside legal counsel.
• Nothing in Ohio state law prohibits the Nat from recognizing and welcoming same-sex couples at the family rate.
Kate Bigam, a former Natatorium employee, has helped to co-organize the call-in.
“(Shane and Coty) deserve the same rights as other married couples,” she said. “Decades from now when gay rights are more established, we’ll look back at instances like this, you know, with a sense of disbelief.”
As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal, the issue arose earlier this month when the Mays – who were legally wed in Washington D.C. three months ago – tried to buy a Natatorium family membership.
When they applied, they were rejected by the fitness center staff who said granting same-sex, family-rate memberships was against the rules.
In response, the Mays set up a petition on change.org and have gathered over 5,000 signatures, said Bigam. Every time the petition was signed, automated emails were sent to the inboxes of city officials who, in turn, blocked the messages due to the high volume.
Plans for the call-in were then set in motion, she said.
Robart and the City Council are in the process of discussing the matter with Law Director Paul Janis on how to proceed and on who should handle it.
Calls to Shane May, Mayor Don Robart and City Council president Mark Ihasz weren’t immediately returned on Monday afternoon regarding this story.
Cuyahoga Falls Patch wants to hear from our readers on this issue that has drawn both local and national attention. What sort of rights should same-sex couples be afforded? How would you handle the matter? (Given the controversial nature of this subject, please offer constructive and tactful comments).