Reprimand Museum for Denying Lesbian Moms a Family Membership


Target: Hands on Children’s Museum of Jacksonville, Florida

Goal: Condemn a children’s museum in Florida for refusing to give a lesbian couple the same family membership rate as any other families

Karen Lee-Duffell has two daughters with her female partner, and they had been members at Hands on Children’s Museum of Jacksonville, Florida for over three years. However, it does not seem like Lee-Duffell will continue to bring her four-year-old and 13-month-old daughters to the Hands on Children’s Museum anymore. Lee-Duffell recently went to renew her family membership, but a Museum employee realized that the mom and dad’s names on the forms were actually both female names.  The employee said to Lee-Duffell that she had to pay an extra ten dollars to add “this other mom, you can’t have two moms” while pointing up at a sign that said a family membership consists of one mom and one dad.

Karen described hearing such discriminatory remarks as feeling punched in the gut. In response to the event, the Museum Director simply said in a statement that the family memberships are very specific and do not allow substitutions because the Museum is concerned about people taking advantage by putting multiple families on one membership.

The statement by the Museum Director offended Lee-Duffell because it sounded like they were telling her that it was obvious Lee-Duffell’s family wasn’t “really a family.” Lee-Duffell continued to say that she is not out there to disrupt anything. She just wants to see a change in the museum’s policy to make it equal. Sign the petition below to demand that the Hand on Children’s Museum adopt equal and fair policies.


Dear Hands on Children’s Museum of Jacksonville,

Recently, a family of four went to renew their family membership at your Museum. They had been members for over three years. During the renewal process, one of your employees noticed that the mom and dad’s names on the forms were actually both female names. Upon realizing this, your employee told Karen Lee-Duffell, one of the moms, that she had to pay more money to include the “extra mom” while pointing up to a sign that said a family consists of a mom and a dad.

In today’s society, no families are the same. There are single parent households as well as families with two dads or two moms. By assuming the Lee-Duffell’s family is not a family, you are treating them unfairly. If you continue to discriminate, you are sending a very negative message that your Museum does not support fair and equal treatment for all human beings. Formally apologize to the Lee-Duffell’s family and make a change to your outdated family policy.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: beckytekkie via Flickr

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