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Lesbian couple & kids denied family rate at pool

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on June 10, 2009 at 6:17 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM

BLOG: What constitutes a family?

In Eastern Idaho - A lesbian couple and their three foster children say they were not allowed to get a reduced family rate at a local pool - because they were told they don't fit the definition of a family.

Lava Hot Springs POOL.jpg
Lava Hot Springs Pool

According to the Idaho State Journal - Amber Koger and Jeri Underwood say they didn't get the Lava Hot Springs Pool advertised family admission price.

"What made me mad is that their definition leaves out a lot of families. What you're saying is that because we're gay, we're not a family." - Amber Koger

"We support them, we feed them, we love them, we put them to bed every night. We are a family in every way." - Jeri Underwood

Koger is the aunt of the three kids, and after a divorce - she and her partner were awarded custody of the children from Health and Welfare.

The executive director for the Lava Hot Springs Foundation - Mark Lowe - says the state doesn't recognize gay or lesbian marriage - and defines a family as one male, one female and children. He says as a state agency, the pool must follow all the laws of the state of Idaho.

But here in Boise, the ACLU begs to differ with Mr. Lowe.

Monica Hopkins ACLU.jpg
Monica Hopkins, ACLU Idaho

Monica Hopkins of the American Civil Liberties Union says state code does in fact define MARRIAGE - but has no universal definition of a FAMILY.

So, what is the definition of a FAMILY anyway? What do you think should have happened at that pool? Many of my friends on Facebook and Twitter had strong feelings on this - so I thought I would BLOG about it and ask you to weigh in...