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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
May 6, 2005

City refuses family pass to lesbian couple with kids

Mason, Ohio--Although the city has issued a family pass to its community center for an unmarried heterosexual couple, officials refuse to grant one to a lesbian couple.

Heather and Carrie Scott applied for a $525 family pass for themselves and Heather�s three children and were turned down. While the city will issue one to Heather and the children, it wants Carrie to buy a separate adult pass for $335.

The city law director said that the policy is not discriminatory, and was instituted to keep people who don�t live together from getting family passes, defrauding the city.

However, resident Randy Marshall told the Cincinnati suburban Community Press that he had purchased a family pass for himself and his girlfriend simply by showing a car insurance bill with both of their names on it, even though they�re unmarried and do not claim each other on their taxes.

Jennifer Trepal, public information officer for the city just northeast of Cincinnati, said that issuing the pass to Marshall was an error.

City council on April 25 denied the Scotts� request for a family pass, although the women live together and have entered into a Vermont civil union.

When they first applied for the family pass, City Manager Scot Lahrmer said in a memo, �It is our policy to issue family passes to whichever family members are claimed on the federal income tax return, and that we have used this policy since the opening of the center in March, 2003.�

�This is not over,� Heather Scott told the Community Press. �It�s not going to be small. There�s a lot of people getting involved and the impact is going to be a lot bigger than Mason City Council bargained.�

The Scotts indicated that they would return to the Liberty Township YMCA instead of spending the extra money on the Mason Community Center.




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