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RCSC board approves LGBT club

Posted 1/31/17

Sun City now has a chartered club geared for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

The Recreation Centers of Sun City Board of Directors approved the charter for the LGBT Club during …

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RCSC board approves LGBT club

Sun City now has a chartered club geared for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
The Recreation Centers of Sun City Board of Directors approved the charter for the LGBT Club during its Jan. 26 regular meeting. The board voted nearly unanimously to approve the charter following a petition, containing 75 signatures, was submitted by resident Diana Graettinger.
Board members Jerry Walczak, Ron Smith, Dave Weiland, Carol Lawry, Rich Hoffer Jerry DeLano and Stella Van Ness voted “yes” during the voice vote. Board member Ida Eisert abstained and board member Bruce Alleman was not in attendance to vote.
The proposal drew opposition from two residents during the meeting, but had multiple others speak in favor of the club.
Don Thompson expressed disappointment there was no opportunity to have discussion on the motion to charter the club. A motion was not listed on the Jan. 9 member/director exchange meeting. RCSC officials sent Jan. 19 by email blast a board agenda for the Jan. 26 meeting that included the LGBT Club motion.
Mr. Thompson said corporation artucles and bylaws provide for clubs to allow activities for hobbies, avocations or fields of interest.
“What unique activities are there for them to pursue?” he asked. “I object to the use of my annual dues and other fees for someone’s sexual proclivity.”
He asked if the board would approve of straight, wife swapping, S and M or other such clubs.
“I don’t think you would,” he said.
Another man voiced his opposition to the club, but would not give his name openly, as the meeting was being videotaped, claiming to be in fear of his life.

Speaking in support of the club, Bobbie Pellagrino said it would be a social group allowing LGBT residents to interact with their peer group. She added Sun City Grand and Sun City West already have similar sanctioned clubs.
“LGBTs in Sun City are at an age without support and the company of their group,” she said. “People don’t have to interact with this group if they don’t want to.”
Diana Graettinger, who claimned to be a lesbian, said she pays her property assessments and all other fees like other residents. She was disappointed that, knowing Sun City Grand and Sun City West already have such groups, the oldest of the age-restricted communities in the Northwest Valley was the last to approve an LGBT club.
“Of the 75 people who signed the petition, about half were straight people,” she said.
Steve Collins, who said he would “not go there (by gay),” but he believe all people have the right to the pursuit of happiness.
“If that makes them happy, so be it,” he said.
Courtney Galora, who claimed she was gay, said she did not know anyone when she moved to the community and if was hard to get to know people because of the prejudices about homosexual people.
“I am black and that was hard enough because there aren’t many people of color,” she said.
Ms. Galora added the club would help people get to know each other, and it would help make visiting relatives who are gay feel more comfortable to visit in Sun City.
Julie Powell said her daughter is gay and is legally married.
“I don’t like the hate,” she said through tears. “Don’t be afraid. Do the right thing.”