The Hands On Children’s Museum in Jacksonville, Florida is continuing to claim that it does not discriminate against same-sex families, and is now complaining about the backlash it has received on the internet for doing just that.
This past weekend, a same-sex couple reported that the museum tried to charge them an extra $10 for a family membership because the policy only applied to families with “a mom and a dad.” Responding to the internet outcry, the museum refused to recognize same-sex families and instead raised the price for all families. In a new statement rife with grammatical errors, the museum claims it “has never discriminated against anyone” and objects to the protests and boycotts launched online, demanding an apology:
The Jacksonville “Hands On” Children’s Museum has never discriminated against anyone. But in fact the “Hands On” Children’s Museum , it’s employees, the board members, the donators and sponsors, the director, the directors family and her husbands church are being discriminated against, attacked and threatened. The director was yelled at and screamed at and feels the Hands On Children’s Museum deserves an apology for how the museum is being treated. This is a children’s museum. [...]
We do not demand that others adhere to our religious beliefs, neither should they demand that we adhere to theirs. We are open and welcoming to all because our mission is to serve families and children. Unfortunately the hatred and vitriol has been directed at our families and staff is causing concern.
The following facts remain true: the Hands On Children’s Museum did discriminate against a same-sex couple by trying to charge them more than a heterosexual family. The museum proceeded to then secretly change its membership pricing to punish all families just to make sure that same-sex families could not access the same deal. At no point have the owners acknowledged their discrimination, nor apologized for it, yet they believe they deserve an apology for the backlash. The museum is not being “discriminated against” — it is being rightly protested for an unsavory business practice.
Harassment through actions like threatening phone calls is deplorable, and it’s unfortunate that some have targeted the museum in this way. Nevertheless, it has not taken responsibility for its discriminatory actions and must face the public reaction to this insult to the gay community.