Michigan appeals court appears to conclude that trans women are men who identify as women
A long-pending lawsuit in Michigan in which Planet Fitness’ “judgement free zone” policy is under fire took another strange turn this week.
Cis-gender Planet Fitness member Yvette Cormier in 2015 saw a transgender woman in the women’s locker room. Over the next several days she complained loudly to other members about the gym’s policy of allowing members to use locker rooms appropriate to the gender they identify with. The gym then terminated her membership for violating its no judgement policy.
Cormier’s lawsuit alleged consumer fraud because Planet Fitness had not disclosed to her their policy. She sued for $25,000 for violation of privacy, sexual harassment and retaliation . In 2017 the trial court ruled against Cormier and she appealed.
She lost in the appellate court and took her case to the Michigan Supreme Court which in April 2018 sent the case back to the appeals court to re-examine the part of her claim about consumer fraud.
This week, the appeals court “ruled that Planet Fitness may have violated the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), which prohibits ‘deceptive methods, acts, or practices in the conduct of trade or commerce,’” according to LGBTQNation.com. The court sent the case back to the trial court to consider the charges of consumer fraud.
Throughout the case, the Michigan courts, rather than refer to “transgender women”, repeatedly used phrases such as “men who self-identify as women”, “assigned men”, “male individual” and other similar terms dismissive of transgender persons and their gender identity.
“While the court’s ruling says that it’s the gym that may have been deceptive when it allowed trans women to use the women’s locker room, it is a permutation of the transphobic notion that transgender women aren’t really women and that if they don’t constantly out themselves as transgender, then they’re being deceptive,” says LGBTQNation.
Michigan’s civil rights law does not include protections for sexual orientation or gender identity.
Copyright The Gayly – July 31, 2018 @ 11:45 a.m. CDT.