Gay Couple Denied Family Golfing Pass By Fargo Park Board

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Sigh…

FARGO – A Fargo gay couple legally married in another state says they may shoot for birdies elsewhere after being denied a discounted family pass to the city’s public golf courses.

Katy Kjelvik and her wife, Steph Rindy, who were legally married in Iowa in 2011, were told Tuesday that they can’t receive a family pass from the Fargo Park District because the courses base their policy on state law, which defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.

“It’s just kind of infuriating the way they responded,” said Kjelvik, a Fargo native who has golfed in the city since she was a child. “It made it seem like it was out of their hands.”

The park district follows Internal Revenue Service guidelines, meaning those who can apply for the family pass have to be able to legally say they are “married” when they file taxes, said Jim Larson, the district’s director of finance and human services.

“We actually answer this question more often for (an unmarried) heterosexual couple that’s living together versus a gay/lesbian couple,” Larson said. “And we respond the same.”

For one thing, we’re clearly taking the qualifications for a family pass at the golf course a little too seriously. They follow IRS guidelines? Really? It’s a golf pass, fellas. Lighten up.

Second, this illustrates perfectly the tiny agonies brought on by the refusal of some in our society to recognize the right of adult, consenting human beings to love one another. Can anyone blame the gays for being outraged by this sort of treatment? It’s humiliating and demeaning, and the Fargo Park District ought to be ashamed of themselves.

If this were a private golf course I’d support (if not necessarily agree with) whatever decisions they want to make in this regard. But this is a public golf course. Equality ought to be the standard.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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