Lesbian Moms Turned Away For Family Pass At Ohio Swimming Pool
A same-sex couple in Galion is trying to change the way the city views family.
For the last nine years, Melody Mohn and her four children have bought a family pass for the pool at Heise Park in Galion.
"We come almost every day," Mohn said.
This year, Mohn said she wanted her partner, Hela Young, included on the family pass, so she called the YMCA that runs the pool.
"I said, 'You know I'm in a same-sex relationship, so where does that leave me?'" she said.
Where it left her was paying full price for a family day in the pool -- because of the city's definition of a family.
Under a city ordinance, a family is defined as a mother, father and children. A family pass gives residents a monetary break. Otherwise, it would cost $16 per day for Mohn to take her four children to the pool.
"He was well-versed. He said, 'You know, I'm sorry, but it stipulates here, mother, father.' So I'm assuming they may have had other issues along the line," Mohn said.
She took the response to the Galion City Council, where members told NBC4 Wednesday that they just didn't know the ordinance existed.
"It's an asterisk at the bottom, a notation at the bottom that I didn't know was there until we got it last night," said Sarah Capretta, of the council's Parks and Recreation Committee.
Capretta and the other council members said they agree that the outdated ordinance needs to be changed.
"We certainly don't want to do anything to prevent children and parents to go swimming in our pool," said Carl Watt, Galion City Council president.
Galion City Council has agreed to reevaluate the wording surrounding the definition of family. The council will decide the proper wording for the ordinance, whether it's household, adults, family, or something else.
"I mean, 20 years ago, it probably fit the scene, but not today. Not today's lifestyle," Watt said.
Mohn said that one of the biggest issues is timing. The pool closes next month, which means that by the time the matter is settled, she will have to wait until 2015 to get the family pass that includes Young.
But that doesn't mean Mohn isn't happy she pushed for change. She said she hopes the new wording will help others in Galion.
"We're not the only same-sex couple, and we're not the only non-traditional family either, so if it does something for them as well, that's good," Mohn said.
The Parks and Recreation committee is meeting on July 17, followed by a city council meeting on July 22 to finalize the new wording. They welcome public comment at both meetings.