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In the class action, Keister, of Asheville, says he decided to buy gym memberships for his family at the local YMCA “because of the YMCA’s image as a safe place for families and children and as [a] place that champions Christian values, such as decency, kindness, and fairness.” But Keister says the YMCA misleads customers through its marketing campaigns, cultivating a false image of places with “high ethical standards and Christian values,” when in fact they tolerate “cruising” for homosexual relationships and allow members to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances.
“Shortly after this incident, Keister returned to the Asheville YMCA only to be subjected to yet another inappropriate incident. As members were coming and going, Keister sat alone on the upper deck with his elbows on his thighs and looking down at the floor.
According to the complaint, the YMCA has long tolerated cruising – defined as the “search in public places for a sex partner” – at its facilities and has done nothing to prevent it.
“In the time following these incidents, Keister was troubled by the way the YMCA discounted his complaints,” the complaint states.
“When the room had cleared of all but one patron, the man sitting across the room began to clear his throat as if he were trying to get Keister’s attention.
“When Keister looked up at the man, the man revealed his erect penis to Keister and began masturbating energetically while staring at Keister.He went into the dressing area but could not locate him.” Keister says that after these incidents, he questioned whether it was safe to bring his 3-year-old son to the YMCA.