Thursday, June 25, 2009

Want the family discount at your local water park? Better have your marriage certificate, birth certificates, SSN's, date of your last pap smear...

According to a recent article in the local rag, a lesbian couple and their three foster children were denied the family discount at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, a few weeks ago.

Lava Hot Springs, the popular tourist attraction, is where the lesbian couple with their three foster kids were denied the advertised family price because they don't fit the definition of a family, under Idaho Law.

The Lava Foundation's Executive Director, Mark Lowe, said the state doesn't recognize gay or lesbian marriage and defines a family as one male, one female and children.

So, just a heads up people, if you're divorced, or say you have a common law marriage, even if you have children you're no longer a "family" in the eyes of Lava Hot Springs. They've made what they consider a moral decision to exclude a group of people from a benefit they provide to everyone else. One male and female must be present to get the five dollars off, even though Idaho law doesn't define "family" at all. It defines marriage, a whole other ball of wax.

It seems the last time I frequented one of these types of establishments for a scheduled day of sore, tired feet and a permanent wedgie from one too many water slides, that a slew of paper work to prove I was married was not required to get a discount. If a man and woman appear with children, do the Lava police ask if they're married? (Sorry sir, but you look like the type that won't commit...) I've never been asked before. What about the single mother? Is she too denied the discount, she who probably needs it the most?

No matter what you believe regarding the issue of marriage, families come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some small. Some thin, some fat. Rich, poor, whatever. Is it really up to anyone, especially the place of your planned summer activities that get your kids away from the tv and out of the house, to decide what constitutes a "family" or not? In 2009, is it possible that a place of business can legally chose whom it serves and whom it doesn't?

Now Lava Hot Springs is threatening to completely do away with family passes.

This whole issue is almost the dumbest thing I've ever heard.


Ben and Christina said...

What is rediculous to me about this story is that it's 5 dollars- why make such a huge stink over it (meaning the Hot Springs, not the family)? They must purposely be wanting to make a statement, but I wonder if it is really worth the fight.

Bryce and Mandy said...

Like Christina said, I can't believe they made such a fuss (Lava Hot Springs) over $5. I don't think it was fair of them to not give them the discount. Like you said, are single parent families next? What about a grandmother who is raising her grandkids? Families are different now, whether we like it or not.

It is too bad they are thinking of making everyone suffer by getting rid of the family pass. Why not keep it as it is but allow anyone who has 1-2 adults and children under 18 living in the same household? Sounds like a family to me.

Scott said...


Thank you for your blog. I did appreciate many of the things you had to say.

I wanted to let you know that the Lava Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 70 local businesses, including most of the lodging, dinning, recreation and retail, published a statement welcoming ALL people to lava. You can find that statement on the Lava Chamber's website: Just click on the recent press release link.

Thanks again for caring enough to promote messages of justice and kindness on your website.

Scott Pearhill
Lava Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce

Lula O said...

Wow, Scott thanks for your comment. Seriously, how did you find this blog though? I tried to find it by googling several keywords and never got it to come up. You must be some sort of web sleuth.

I'm happy that all people are welcome at Lava Hot Springs, but what about that discount at the waterpark? I'm assuming their policy is still the same - A family is a man, woman and child. I find that policy extremely unfair.

I wasn't trying to be mean to your town by writing this post. In fact, I've been to Lava for family reunions more times than I can count, and have always had a great time there. I just feel bad for that family is all, and I hope it doesn't happen again. Your comments seem to be on the right track. Good luck with your continued damage control.

Comeca Jones said...

Im in tears i was just googe n place for my partner and to go n have a low cost weekend in hot springs and this popped up ! Well we know where we are not goin. Sad...Comeca N Lashanda Jones