After months of debate, the Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Board have finally decided to keep of the Natatorium's rate structure the same.
Board Chairman Tim Gorbach explains to AkronNewsNow.com that things are staying as is.
"I made a motion that we have a reconsideration of that same motion to change the rates, and both failed 3-2 to make any changes, so the rates will stay the same at this time."
The rate structure issue came to light in January when Shane and Coty May, a same-sex married couple were denied a family rate at the gym.
Shane May was in attendance during the Park Board's meeting and he expressed his displeasure with Thursday's ruling.
"I'm very disappointed that they didn't reconsider changing this policy that discriminates against same-sex couples," May said.
"I thought that there would be more hope that they would, but their opinions are set in their minds and don't want to take any criticism for it, so their minds are just set."
Coty, an Iraq war veteran suffered injuries in combat and wished to use the Nat for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Shane says that process is still an everyday struggle.
"It's an ongoing process with Coty, I don't think he'll ever get back to where he was before his service time, but he has his good days and bad days."
Gorbach says he was one of those who tried to make the gym's rate policies more inclusive.
"I tried to make the rate structure more inclusive and it was voted down twice and failed," Gorbach said.
"I'm only one member of the board, so two of us made an attempt to change things."
Gorbach proposed earlier a "head of household "structure that would have eliminated what some called a discriminatory rate plan.
The "w/spouse" plan currently calls for heterosexual married couples to receive the $255 discount versus individual members who pay more.
Thursday night's measure failed 3-2, which was the case in March when the Board voted on the issue the first time.
Mayor Don Robart supports the board's decision, saying that he's "sort of irritated" that people advocate for social issues without a funding mechanism. The mayor says he's not homophobic, just fiscally responsible.
"The bottom line is that it's a financial issue," said Robart. "I don't think anybody has any problem with the gay community. They're more than welcome to the natatorium. We just don't want to change our policy and I salute the Where things go from here is anyone's guess, but Park Board Chair Tim Gorbach says that despite the ruling, people can still voice their opinions on this issue with their elected officials.
"I would ask that people who wished we would have made a change to continue to voice their opinion, to contact our board, park administration and even City Council again."
Cuyahoga Falls City Council President Diana Colavecchio said she was disappointed in the ruling as well, but that this issue is far from over.
"I feel the people will speak to this and that the State Constitution will be changed and our rate structure at the Nat will change as well," Colavecchio said.
"I know we're going to take some heat for this, but it was an open dialogue and it doesn't get any better than that."