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Should groups charge a lower price for younger folks?

Age discrimination charges are being leveled against a local LGBT organization following a highly publicized pool party in Miami.

Last week Impulse Group South Florida hosted a flashy event at the recently renovated Vagabond Hotel bringing their educational efforts to the historic location.   Young men and women in swimsuits posed for pictures and videos, which were plastered all over social media sites for the event, titled “Get Wet.” Most of the postings included the hashtag, #JudgementIsDirty.

Dirty or not, judgment came quickly when word spread of the party’s door charges. Those wishing to attend the event who were under the age of 40, were admitted free into the Vagabond, but if you were a 41-year-old or older then a $50 donation to the group was required. SFGN received numerous complaints both leading up to the event and all through the weekend.

“I’m amazed at the invite I just received – free admission up to 40 years of age and $50 over 40,” writes Ed Stevens, in an email to SFGN. “In addition to whether this is even legal, it’s a shocking and blatant attempt to exclude mature people and another instance of how people in our community should know better, given the discrimination and judgements we face in the mainstream world. And I was looking forward to going back to this beautifully restored landmark.”

Impulse Group is an organization that focuses on HIV education and prevention as well as the sexual and overall health of the gay community. It was founded and funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and has nine chapters, seven in the U.S, and two internationally.

SFGN contacted a member of Impulse Group South Florida, who said they would be issuing a statement addressing the age issue. SFGN though has yet to receive it.

The group, however, is not the only LGBT organization to attempt to divide people by generations.

Pride Center of Equality Park Chief Executive Officer Robert Boo defended his organization’s decision to charge less to younger people at a February event. Billed as “Evening In Paradise: Mykonos, Gods & Goddesses,” the event cost $125 per person — unless you were ages 18 to 35. In that case the ticket price was $50 per person. Boo said the discounted price had nothing to do with age discrimination, but rather encouraging younger people to join in community causes.

“We offered a discounted price to get them more involved and to get that age group to participate more in community events,” Boo said.

For Impulse Group, this decision is not a new policy. Last year on Fort Lauderdale Beach, the organization also charged older people more money for its pool party.

This trend is what has so many people crying foul. More than 100 comments were posted on the Facebook event page for “Get Wet.” Many of which addressed the issue.

“The distinct impression is not that they want older folks to fund the party, but that they don’t want them to attend at all. Just young, beautiful people, right? What’s next, keeping fat folks away?,” wrote Tori Bertran.

Another commentator, Scott Pluto, defended the $50 cover charge, “Who wants old trolls there staring at young guys. It’s a young mans group….So what if they want to charge old people.”

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