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Family with two moms denied family membership to Florida Museum

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A family in Florida has been denied a "family membership" to a museum in Florida simply because the parents happen to be two women. Karen Lee-Duffel went to up her family's membership to the Hands on Children's Museum in Jacksonville, FL for the fourth year in a row when a staff member at the museum noticed that the parents listed on the form were both moms. Lee-Duffel was then told they weren't eligible for a family membership.

The museum apparently defines a family as mom, dad and kids under 18 who live in the house. This disqualifies not only same-sex parented families, but families with kids being raised by non-parent guardians (though there is a different, more expensive, policy for grandparents with grandkids), single parents, and even straight parents/step-parents that do not have kids living with them. The policy has an extremely narrow view of family.

Lee-Duffel was told that she could hold a membership for herself and her two girls and buy an "extra named or unnamed person" for $10 more for her partner. There is nothing she can do legally about the discrimination as Florida doesn't recognize same-sex marriages and there are very few protections for same-sex couples in the state.

"[The museum staff] obviously felt like we weren't a family and it did not matter to them that we were being treated unfairly," Lee-Duffel said in an interview with First Coast News.

Friends started a petition on change.org and a Facebook page on the family's behalf and with their blessing. Additionally, there is a rally being planned for June 22nd outside the museum. The event calls for those who cannot come to call the museum at the date and time of the rally demanding them to open their policies to all families.  

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