I'm not sure if you ever got your issue resolved or have decided to simply move on but I just wanted to let you know that I had the same issue last year. I still had time within my paid up membership and had decided to change my handle by deleting my old profile BEFORE getting my new one approved. Well, like you, I was rejected and referred to another site but I wasn't satisfied with that response so, after three emails to the owner, with my "Priority Access" code included in the last one, he finally went in and granted the request. You are right in that there is certainly discrimination which makes no sense to me because each "applicant" could end up being revenue for him. *shrugs*
I hope you found something instead that is good for you.