A gym in the US state of Michigan has sparked controversy after it banned a member for objecting to a transsexual man being in the female changing rooms.
Yvette Cormier complained to staff at the gym after the encounter. A man who lives as a woman, and refers to himself as Carlotta Sklodowska, believes he triggered the complaint after he visited the gym.
Staff told Cormier that she had responded “inappropriately” to the presence of Sklodowska and cancelled her membership.
A statement by McCall Gosselin, Director of Public Relations at Planet Fitness, defended the gym’s so-called ‘non-discriminatory’ policy.
It read: “Planet Fitness is committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members.
“Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”
The Family Research Council, a Christian pro-family organisation, criticised the move in a blog post saying that: “Planet Fitness is no longer part of the rational universe.”
Gary Glenn, a State Representative for Michigan said that the gym’s policy threatened the safety of female members.
The gym’s approach contrasts starkly with a move made by a Texas lawmaker earlier this month.
Republican Representative Gilbert Peña introduced a Bill to the Texas House of Representatives which would prevent transsexual pupils from using school facilities which do not reflect their birth sex.
The Bill states: “Only persons of the same biological sex may be present at the same time in any bathroom, locker room or shower facility” in buildings owned by a school district.
Schools could instead provide “reasonable alternate” facilities, such as a bathroom, shower facility or locker room designed for the use of one person at a time.