POCATELLO, Idaho – A same-sex couple and their three foster children were denied a reduced admission price to a pool in eastern Idaho because the Lava Hot Springs State Foundation says the five don’t fit the definition of a famly.
Amber Koger and Jeri Underwood say they and their three children were recently denied the resort’s advertised family admission price to the Olympic Swimming Complex at Lava Hot Springs…Mark Lowe, executive director for the Lava Hot Springs foundation, said the state doesn’t recognize gay or lesbian marriage and defines a family as one male, one female and children.
“We are a state agency bound by all the laws of the state of Idaho,” Lowe said.
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First of all, a family isn’t the same thing as a marriage. Lowe may be able to cite the state’s official definition of a marriage, but an official, state-defined marriage isn’t a prerequisite to being a family.
Secondly, does this facility deny family memberships to one parent families, where the parent is single, divorced, or widowed; where no marriage exists at all, state sactioned or not? Would they deny family membership to an opposite sex couple raising children together who were not legally married?
Thirdly, the ones really being punished in this bigoted decision are the children. Lowe may think he’s taking the moral high road by expressing his disapproval of same sex relationships in this manner, but all he’s really doing is preventing some little kids from going swimming.
Fortunately for Koger and Underwood and their children, not all facilities in their area have such bigoted policies.
At the Ross Park Aquatic Center, manager Cindy Robbins said families of all types get in for half price during Monday’s “Family Night.”
“If family members live under the same roof and parents can claim them on their taxes, they are a family,” Robbins said.