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Transgender

Michigan Court Insults Trans Women, Punishes Gym for Pro-LGBT Policy

Planet Fitness

An appeals court declares trans women aren't really women but "men who self-identify as women."

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After several courts sided with Planet Fitness for canceling a customer's gym membership after she complained and bullied a trans woman, a Michigan appeals court has found the gym erred.

Yvette Cormier sued Planet Fitness in 2015 after her membership was canceled. The Midland, Mich., gym took action because Cormier not only objected to the gym's policy of allowing trans people to use facilities that comport with their gender identity, but Cormier "warned" other women at the gym that it was allowing trans women to use the women's changing room; the gym said Cormier's actions conflicted with its "judgment-free" policy. Cormier -- who initiated her anti-trans campaign after seeing a trans woman in the locker room, a person she consistently refers to as a "man" -- sued Planet Fitness for $25,000, citing violation of privacy and humiliation, among other claims.

Two courts ruled against Cormier, but the Michigan Supreme Court sent her case back to the appellate court to examine a legal question it believed hadn't been considered. The question was whether Planet Fitness violated its contract with Cormier by not disclosing its policy of accomodating trans women.

The appeals court decided the gym did not make it clear the women's facility was open to all women and added insult to injury by describing trans women as "men who self-identify as women," ThinkProgress reports. The court believed if Cormier knew this policy she wouldn't have signed up for a membership, and thus the gym -- according to the court -- engaged in deceptive business practices.

The case now heads to another court, which could rule that Cormier is deserving of attorneys' fees and mandate that Planet Fitness tell all new customers that it, horror of horrors, welcomes trans people without judgment.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.