A Jackson, Florida lesbian couple
raising two daughters were told by a children's museum that they
qualify as friends, not family.
Karen Lee-Duffell told First
Coast News that after 3 years she was told she would have to pay
$10 extra this year to include her partner as a friend in her Hands
on Children's Museum family membership plan.
“It really just feels like a punch in
the gut when you go somewhere and it's kind of thrown in your face,
we don't want to treat you equally and we're not going to make any
effort to do that,” Lee-Duffell said.
“She says 'oh wait no, you're going
to have to pay an extra ten dollars to add this other mom, you can't
have two moms' and she points up at the sign, a family membership
consists of one mom and one dad,” she added.
The museum defended its policy in a
“The Hands on Children's Museum
Family memberships are very specific. … To keep our rates as
reasonable as possible, we do not allow any substitutions; whether
they are friend, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa or any other person.
She was offered a Family Membership and to add an extra person. She
refused to add an extra person to a Family Membership. … If, in the
past the extra person had been added there would have not be [sic]
any confusions [sic].”
Calls for a boycott on Facebook
have generated thousands of pledges.