“Y” discriminate?

By Michael . . . As a senior citizen recently qualifying for Medicare, I was excited to learn that my new Medicare Advantage plan allowed me free access to the YMCA. Since our local “Y” has a great pool, I was really looking forward to getting the exercise I need with a low impact work out.

I took my paperwork down to the “Y” and told them I wanted to join; I was heartily ushered into the inner sanctum and to an enroller who gave me an enrollment package to fill out.

I filled out the information sheet, page one and signed the bottom, page 2, item 1: Physicians approval, no problem, I’m still alive and kicking, item 2 “Membership Policy,” “Any person supporting the purposes and mission of the YMCA may become a member…”

From the YMCA National Website: Our Commitment to Inclusion: The Y is made up of people of all ages and every walk of life… We work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity.”

Despite their stated policy of inclusion and lack of discrimination and their claim of bringing people together and presenting real solutions to the real issues in today’s world, their policy and desire to address real issues with real, inclusive solutions seems to end with those convicted of a sexual offense.

Sex offenses can range anywhere from urinating in public, to indecent exposure –streaking for example — to more serious crimes. However, the policy of the “Y” fails to address the most credible research that most sexual victimizations are committed by someone the children or adult already knows, and that 95% of all new sexual offenses are committed by someone who has not been previously convicted of a sexual offense. Average national reoffense rates are somewhere near 5%.

The “Y”’s policy does not evaluate individuals or individual history, the gravity of the offense, nor the time that has elapsed since the conviction. And even if it did, those who have committed a sexual offense are the ONLY group singled out for “blanket” denial.

Reading on in “Item 2” of the applications, one finds, “Any person convicted of a sex offense as defined by [state] law shall be subject to immediate termination of membership., or if seeking membership, shall be denied the same.”

To claim inclusion and then single out one group of people to deny membership is certainly discriminatory and non-inclusive. The statements of inclusion are not true, and they serve only to perpetuate current social myths and misunderstanding. They do nothing to keep children or families safe because they propose an answer of ostracism rather than one of education, inclusion, and dignity.

Moreover, when creating such discriminatory policies, organizations such as the “Y” fail to recognize the negative impact they have on families, including children and grandchildren of registrants. At the average family size of 4 people, that means that each law and policy that negatively impacts one registrant affects 3 other people or nearly 4 million Americans.

With nearly 1 million Americans required to register as sexual offenders, it is time for organizations like the “Y” to be leaders in fostering community understanding and creating policies that allow for persons convicted of sexual offenses who have completed their sentences to reintegrate into the community. This would promote the “dignity” they claim to support.

YMCA, “Y” not change your policy and really be a leader in non-discriminatory, inclusive practices that change the minds and hearts not only of those who have committed such offenses but also those who judge them years and decades after the fact.

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Michael

Michael is the director/ chair of Indiana Voices, a NARSOL advocate, and regional coordinator for NARSOL's Region 3.

This topic contains 19 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Fred Fred 2 months ago.

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  • #54131 Reply
    Michael
    Michael

    By Michael . . . As a senior citizen recently qualifying for Medicare, I was excited to learn that my new Medicare Advantage plan allowed me free acce
    [See the full post at: “Y” discriminate?]

  • #54138 Reply
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    Michael Pierce

    I believe your question was “YMCA, “Y” not change your policy and really be a leader in non-discriminatory, inclusive practices that change the minds and hearts not only of those who have committed such offenses but also those who judge them years and decades after the fact.”
    If I could be devil’s advocate I might suggest their answer would be somewhere on the lines of (We cant take the chance).
    or (This is where children gather) or some such other programmed responce.
    I dont believe it is incumbent upon those of us who have committed sexual offences to change the hearts and minds of the fearful citizenry.
    Did the African American community try to convince the fearful citizenry that they were not a threat?
    Did the suffragists become docile and quietly request permission to vote?
    Of course not. And we are not going to win our freedom back by trying to convince them we are no longer a threat.
    We need to institute protective laws. We need to support those organizations that have a real chance at doing just that.
    As a side note, I’ve been out for nearly two years after serving 13 1/4 years. Going to a [Y.M.C.A.] has not been nor do I believe it will ever be on my list of things I would consider doing.
    Just sayin. 🕊

    • #54708 Reply
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      The Criminalized Man

      > Did the African American community try to convince the fearful citizenry that they were not a threat?

      Yes, for decades.

      > Did the suffragists become docile and quietly request permission to vote?

      Yes, for decades.

      >Of course not. And we are not going to win our freedom back by trying to convince them we are no longer a threat.

      Those steps alone aren’t enough, you’re right. But they expose prejudice and cruelty for what it is, paving the way for more concrete steps of reform.

  • #54149 Reply
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    Raye

    This policy not only impacts the registrant/offender but the family as well. Because the Y is often the only place available for some activities for the younger members of a family, they aren’t able to participate. An offender cannot participate in activities with their children. No soccer, basketball, swimming, martial arts, and other programs that build families are available to an offender. These organizations treat all offenders as “Chester the Molester” when the crime was sharing pictures with their girlfriend/boyfriend when younger, or urinating in public, or being 18 with a girlfriend under that age. If the offender does not have a family that is participating in these activities there can be set times for them to utilize the facility. There are classes that are geared only for adults, restricted times for only adults to use the pools, etc. Only when offenders are able to integrate into society will the stigma be ended. Most people don’t realize that some of their actions would be considered a sex offense today. Of course, we aren’t even discussing those who are wrongly accused and convicted or take a plea to end the nightmare of prosecution.

  • #54190 Reply
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    d

    Just more hypocrisy from a society that thinks itself superior and falls short on many issues.

  • #54264 Reply
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    Saddles

    Young Men you don’t have to be down. Now Michael has brought up something about the Y. M. C. A. sure I stayed in it one time many years ago. All these comments on here make the sex offender look sick. I wonder who has a behavior problem.

    Is it the president, the Vice President, Sandy or all of us. Don’t we all ha vee a “Thorn in the Flesh” or should they make one look like Bill Cosby. Now sex offending has various degrees the physical and the non-physical. I wonder if we are not living in the “Twight light Zone” and being enticed by all this “Ponzi Scheme” if one wants to call “predicting protection and calling it public safety.

    Gets me sick to read some of these scared men and women that don’t know where to turn next. I hope people still fight fire with fire or are some using a garden hose.

  • #54288 Reply
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    In nj

    Explotive organization..lump some connective tissue with a couple of deficits and watch the chest thumpers go. O

  • #54437 Reply
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    Saddles

    Actually Michael you have something with this article people with this Y. M. C. A. thing and I don’t believe anyone knows what this really is ina lot or most all of this sex offender confusion. Sure a lot of people like to use logic and understanding but one needs to dig a bit deeper into all this.

    Sure this world is confusing enough and this sex offender thing is boggling everyone’s mind or is there a reason for the season. Should we all go the Joe Friday method of “just the facts” or the proof, or the truth. I believe thats up to each individual. I wonder who’s naked today?

    Sure I agree with WC about devils advocate to some extent but who tresspasses against another in a lot of this sex of the mind game. Should we wonder who’s” Ordained” today to speak for another or why one’s lawyer backed out of the case and left one in l;imbo to take a plea deal instead of jail time. I wonder if this Y. M. C. A. is like this Extreme Risk Protection Order that Colorado is facing with guns. So is man killing man with man’s Law and Order.

  • #54672 Reply
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    Lori w/OK VOICES

    We have a Registrant in our state who was allowed membership to his YMCA with his children. He is a single parent and was allowed to explain his case and the person at this location said that she had talked to several persons in leadership about this issue and it is up to each individual locations management.

  • #54169 Reply
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    Ed C

    Huh? Christ had underage sex? Where did that come from?

  • #54170 Reply
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    ummmmmm

    wait what ???

  • #54193 Reply
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    WC_TN

    Playing Devil’s advocate here…

    It could be argued that for those registrants who have a history of molesting prepubescent and young teen children, the venue could give them access to strike up an acquaintance with a child/adolescent and begin the grooming process. I’m referring to the ones who have been diagnosed as a clinically defined pedophile…a primary (possibly sole) attraction to prepubescent children. There are child sex offenders simply because the opportunity was there and the youngster was the one who happened to be vulnerable to the event. There are also those who are truly pedophiles who find themselves compulsively drawn to either little boys, little girls or both.

  • #54278 Reply
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    Mike

    Where the heck did you see something about Jesus had underage sex or whatever is was you seen? I don’t see it

  • #54200 Reply
    Charlie
    Charlie
    Moderator

    There are a lot of misconceptions about what a pedophile is or is not. But on average, most pedophiles would never touch a child. Just because someone has apreference sexually for child does not mean that they will be a sexual offender. They do not represent the majority of those on the registry nor do they represent the majority of those in prison. More importantly, majority pedophiles have never committed sexual offense. I think this word gets thrown around way too often because it is a powerful and alarming word that can stir up feelings and get people rally to a cause.

  • #54204 Reply
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    citizen

    If someone can be clinically diagnosed as a pedophilic then there must be a clinical cure. Right? Don’t believe mainstream politically correct Psychological ideas that are implemented before they are confirmed to be valid. Psychology is controlled by politics and public opinion. It is no longer an independent science.
    To quote or use it as any kind of valid argument is just a feeble attempt at rubber stamping our academia with public opinion as the catholic church and other religious organizations have done.
    So, if you want to troll here just make sure you really can think for yourself. Not just regurgitate the idiocy of the unbending masses.

  • #54235 Reply
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    Jacob

    That is not just devil’s advocate. It would be entirely appropriate for the Y to be cautious of such individuals.

    Unfortunately, the sex offender registry is not a reliable way to identify them.

  • #54208 Reply
    Charlie
    Charlie
    Moderator

    You would think that with a diagnosis would follow a cure. Yet that is not always the case. The problem is that the word cure is tossed about as if diagnosed “disorders” are the same as a medically diagnosed disease. This is due to the fact that psychology is heavily connected to the medical model of assessing people. Psychiatrists are Medical Doctor’s, psychologists are not. They are behavioral scientists. But I personally believe they long to be viewed with the esteem of medical doctors and over state their diagnostic findings.
    Pedophilic disorder is a disorder not a disease. A disorder is simply anything that impairs or interferes with intra-personal harmony or ability to cope with life for an individual. It’s not disease. Therefore, it cannot be “cured” in the medical sense. The word cure has allowed politicians to scare people into thinking sex offenders are incurable. It plays to a willing audience. But you don’t cure behavior, you simply change it.

  • #54232 Reply
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    citizen

    I actually would say that a diagnosis would not beget a cure. I asked this question to get other people to think about how much we actually know about the subject, and why we know so little about it.
    To claim that the diagnosis is due to pure behavior would indicate that we are also able to pinpoint the behavior that propagates the development of pedophilia. However, as I know it to be; The behavior modifications that are employed in sex offender treatment are merely Pavlovian in nature. Meaning that Psychology in all it’s openness to case study and it’s spirit of human discovery can’t pinpoint the cause of pedophilia. They only treat the effect of an issue.
    Further more, disorders are usually treated by Psychiatrist because they are ultimately linked to physical chemical imbalances. Schizophrenia, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and many other mood and behavior disorders are well linked to erratic and disproportionate levels of dopamine and serotonin. As you may argue the difference between a chemical imbalance and the behavior it produces you should also consider that the imbalance it creates is a provenance to the behavior.
    And, although “cure” is a word used by politicians to scare people, it is not a word that I think anyone should shy away from. My argument in that we need to question Psychology was completely based out of the fact that we as a society have chosen to dictate our Psychological sciences (empirical study of human behavior) by our moral proclivity. And my assertion is that you can’t play the devils advocate if you have manufactured truth or tainted facts.
    Lastly I do feel the need to agree with you that most pedophiles would never touch a child. There need to be some clear definitive lines drawn between people with frustrated urges and someone’s true desire to abuse another human being. This is the true cause of fear with our public. The myth that people with this issue are all serial rapists. That myth and all others will only dissipate when we seek the truth above our agenda’s.

  • #54270 Reply
    Charlie
    Charlie
    Moderator

    I can agree with some of your conclusions. However, disorders are less often treated by psychiatrists than other practitioners, with the exception of organic disorders which would be medical in nature, to include most cases of schizophrenia, bi-polar, and others. So far as being able to identify the etiological nature of behaviors, it it theoretically possible, but practically not so. Human beings are a chaotic outcome of experiences, interpretations, positive and negative conditioning, and even happenstance. From a unique psychodynamic perspective, triggers for one person’s behavior might well produce a different outcome for another. This is he essence of choice. And choice drives behavior since it proceeds it.
    The issue with throwing out inflammatory words like pedophile and incurable is that those who use them are either ignorant of facts, or manipulatively deceptive. The Y is responding to pop culture and the very convincing narrative that has been foisted upon the general populace. Research has disproven time and time again what some would call “common sense.”
    The DSM is a political tool for sure. So much in the DSM5 has been the direct result of politically motivated “practitioners” that it is ridiculously biased. “Diseasing” of America is a business model, not a moral or ethical stance. Registered persons are easily marginalized due to lack of advocacy. The psychiatrists and medical world are too full or their self-appointed importance to stop and see the damage the DSM is doing to people. Most “mental health” issues are basically a reaction to a perception of a loss (all change demands loss) and the response is more or less tied to meaning held and personal ability to cope than to a disease. Therefore, no cure is needed.

  • #54673 Reply
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    Lori w/OK VOICES

    The same rules for our listserve should apply to comments such as ED C is making. Focus on issues that bring us together not apart.

  • #54686 Reply
    Fred
    Fred
    Admin

    Ed was responding to an inapproporiate comment from someone else that has since been deleted. He was not asserting his beliefs on anyone or bashing another person’s beliefs. He was simply asking where it came from.

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