Akron couple petitioning against local natatorium

Shane May, 22, has posted a petition online directed at the City of Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium. His goal? To make it legal for same-sex couples to register for family memberships at the Natatorium, which recently denied Shane and his husband of four months, Coty May, such a membership.

Shane and Coty May, courtesy of Shane May.

Coty is an Iraq war veteran who, Shane said, goes to the Natatorium for water therapy and light lifting to ease pain levels and to regain strength. The two were seeking a family membership at the Natatorium because Shane is Coty’s caregiver and wanted to be able to receive the spousal and veteran discounts that other couples would receive in such an instance.

However, the woman working at the desk told May that his marriage wasn’t “real” according to Ohio law, which is what the Natatorium follows. This means that until Ohio recognizes gay marriage as a “real” marriage, couples that marry out of state and come back to Ohio cannot register for a family membership at the Natatorium. Shane and Coty married in October in Washington, D.C., and live in Akron.

The petition, which will be sent to the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls and all of its city council members, can be found online at Change.org (just follow the link). Shane has this to say about supporting the petition:

“I am asking you to sign this petition to show the City of Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium that equality should be given to every citizen and that their rules and regulations need to be changed to allow all couples – regardless of sexual orientation – to register as a family. A family comes in all shapes and sizes and the Natatorium, Parks and Recreations and City Council should not be allowed to discriminate against our families because they choose to.

Following the link to the Change.org petition will take you to this screen, where you can sign to the left.

“As of right now I am encouraging everyone to sign the petition as well as spread the word to friends and family. Every signature gets automatically generated into a petition letter and sent to the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls as well as all 12 city council members. Eventually, our voice will be heard that it is time to end such a discriminating policy not backed by any law and allow families to be considered families.

“I have many relatives as well as friends who have attended and are still attending Kent State University. My old high school band teacher is now the director of the Marching band there and I have the upmost respect for the school.

“Kent State seems to be a very liberated and diverse college allowing all members of society to feel as one. I hope the students take away the fact of knowing they are helping not only an injured vet, but helping to shape the community we live in and setting a precedent for future change and finally equality.”

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