Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I have been injured on another person’s property. What should I do now?”
Last week Charlotte’s City Council voted against an ordinance that supporters said would have ended sexual discrimination. Opponents of the ordinance—many of whom turned out to comment publically at the council’s meeting on the issue—said interest groups behind the proposed ordinance want to “force their idea of gender” on the public.
The most controversial part of the ordinance “would have allowed transgendered people to go into any public bathroom they chose,” according to Charlotte’s WSOC-TV. That language was removed from the proposed ordinance prior to the council’s vote, leading ordinance supporters like council member John Autry to vote against the proposal. The bathroom portion of the ordinance was too important, Autry told WSOC-TV, to leave out.
Many private companies, including New Hampshire-based Planet Fitness, allow transgendered persons to use facilities of their choice.
Last week, a Michigan woman—Yvette Cormier—complained to Planet Fitness staff at the company’s Midland, Michigan location that she witnessed a man changing in the woman’s locker room on two occasions. According to the Daily Mail, Planet Fitness staff members told Cormier that the individual was transsexual and was permitted to use the woman’s locker room.
According to Cormier, staff members told her that individuals are permitted to use the locker room that corresponds with how a person is dressed. Cormier, however, said the individual she saw in the women’s locker room “looked like a man. He did not look like a woman.”
When Cormier continued to complain, Planet Fitness cancelled her membership, saying Cormier violated the company’s “No-Judgment Zone” policy. Cormier said she did not complain because the individual was transsexual; she complained “because she thought there was a man in the women’s room,” according to the Daily Mail.
The transgender woman—Carlotta Sklodowska—told the Daily Mail that she used the women’s locker room on two occasions, and only to hang up her purse and coat and then to retrieve the items after working out. She said that while she wore leggings and a baggy tee-shirt on both occasions, “she understood why Cormier would see her body structure as masculine, because many people tell her she looks like a man.”
Sklodowska added, however, that she did not see anyone who appeared to be distressed by her presence in the women’s locker room.
Planet Fitness reaffirmed its commitment to “creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for” members. A company public relations representative suggested that Cormier’s membership was cancelled not because she objected to Planet Fitness’s policy, but because of “the manner in which her concerns were expressed that club management felt was inappropriate.”
Sklodowska said she believes she is the only transgender woman in a town of some 40,000 residents.
If you or someone you know has any questions regarding potential personal injury claims, feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
“Left OUT 01 Hunter Hargreave” by Cary Bass – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Left_OUT_01_Hunter_Hargreave.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Left_OUT_01_Hunter_Hargreave.jpg
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