A gay male couple from Roanoke, Virginia, are suing a gym which allegedly revoked their membership because of their sexual orientation.

William Trinkle said he bought a family membership at Roanoke Athletic Club in May for himself, his partner, Juan Granados, and their two-year-old son, Oliver.

Their application was initially approved but club officials called Mr Trinkle several weeks later to say the membership was being revoked because the couple and their son do not meet Virginia’s legal definition of a family.

Mr Trinkle says he was encouraged to apply for membership by a club employee and that he put his partner’s name on the application.

Speaking at a press conference, he said: “We were not only told that they were sticking with their decision to kick us out, but that, because of us, they were tightening policies so no families like us would ever get as far as we had. It was, and continues to be, a punch to our gut.”

The family are suing Roanoke Athletic Club and its parent company Carilion Clinic for breach of contract and for violating Virginia’s consumer protection act. They have not specified damages.