Gay and Lesbian Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory My Zimbio Blog Directory and Search engine
Lesbian Dating and Relationship Search

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lesbian couple loses appeal in health club discrimination case

One step forward, two steps back...

Earlier this week a Minnesota appeals court judge upheld a ruling that found it legal for the Rochester Athletic Club to deny a family membership to a lesbian couple because the couple is not married. The case spotlights an instance where Minnesota anti-discrimination laws are ineffective so long as same-sex couples cannot marry.

Amy and Sarah Monson have been partners for seven years and are raising their daughter together. They co-own a business, have joint finances, and had a commitment ceremony in 2002. They have drafted estate plans for themselves and their daughter, and Sarah changed her last name to Monson.

The Rochester Athletic Club had a policy that only married couples could apply for a family membership package. The courts have said that since unmarried heterosexual couples also cannot get the discounted membership the policy does not constitute discrimination based on sexual orientation. But the Monsons contend that since they don’t have the option to marry, they shouldn't be compared with unmarried heterosexual couples who have the option to marry.

After four attempts to resolve the matter with the club, the Monsons filed a lawsuit in 2007, alleging a violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the 1993 law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals denied their argument this past Tuesday and upheld a previous Olmstead County judge’s decision.

Judge Kevin Lund, the judge in the original decision, saw the flaws in the system. He called the health club’s policy “anachronistic” and an “unrealistically narrow definition of family” that “fails to recognize the underlying stability and commitment of the Monsons’ relationship,” a relationship that he said functions “as a loving family unit and would otherwise be married or have entered into a permissible legal domestic partnership if allowed by our Legislature.”

The Monsons may appeal the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Source: The Minnesota Independent

No comments:


Blog Directory, Free online web directory, Search Engine Submission - AddMe