An employee at the city's Fort Marcy Recreation Complex is taking sensitivity training, and top-level officials have apologized to a Santa Fe shopkeeper and her partner because of the worker's discriminatory actions.
Senior couples discounts at the recreation center are a perk for those 60 years old or older, saving $73 over the price of two annual individual senior memberships. But when the two women (who asked not to be named in this report) tried to renew their membership last week, the worker told them the city only offers those discounts to "a normal couple, a man and a wife."
After some back and forth and a purported call to a supervisor, the worker processed the renewal for the women, but they say her aggressive behavior was upsetting.
"This can't be tolerated," one woman tells SFR, "because too much has been tolerated."
"She just made this up out of her own prejudice," says her partner, "She shouldn't be in a public position representing the city."
Fort Marcy Manager Liz Roybal says the reported incident with the 10-year city employee is under investigation, but noted the city policy remains unchanged. "A couple is a couple is a couple," says Roybal. "We don't care if they are sisters. All we say is that a couple must reside at the same residence."
In the meantime, Mayor Javier Gonzales, the city's first openly gay mayor, personally phoned the women to apologize. They say they also heard from Councilor Patti Bushee, who promised Fort Marcy staff would also issue an apology.
"We don't really want an apology," one woman says, "The only thing that would mean anything is to not have this happen to other people."