After coming under fire for refusing a lesbian couple its family rate, the Hands On Children's Museum in Jacksonville, Fla., has stopped recognizing any two-parent families, and will now require all families with two parents to pay an increased rate, reports ThinkProgress.
Karen Lee-Duffell told Florida's KSN-TV that she stopped by the museum earlier this week to renew her family's membership, which they've maintained for more than three years. Lee-Duffell says an employee at the museum noticed two women's names under the "mother" and "father" lines, and told the mother of two that the museum wouldn't recognize her and her wife as a family, pointing to a sign that said family memberships consist of one mother and one father. The employee told Lee-Duffell that the policy was intended to prevent people from taking advantage of the policy and putting multiple families on one membership. Lee-Duffell was told she'd have to pay an additional $10 fee to list both parents on the membership.
"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 told KSN on Monday.
Today, the museum reportedly changed its membership policy to require any two-parent household to pay an increased rate. According to Zack Ford at ThinkProgress, the previous plan covered a "Mom, Dad, and children under 18 who live in the home" for $49.50, with a $10 fee to add an additional person. The revised rate plan covers, for $49.50, "One named parent and children under 18 who live in the home." Adding an extra person still costs an additional $10.
Lee-Duffell told KSN she was able to pay the extra $10, but felt the sting of discriminatory treatment since the museum didn't recognize her family. Now, it appears, the museum has revised its policy to require all families with two parents to pay an increased rate… Which is technically more equitable, but sure comes off seeming like everyone is being forced to pay more for the museum's discriminatory belief that a family can't consist of two moms.
Watch the initial report from KSN below.