Cue round 2 of the battle for transgender equality at Planet Fitness as they find themselves back in the courtroom. Planet Fitness found itself under fire over its liberal policy towards transgender gym patrons using the locker-room for their preferred gender last year.
If you remember, on February 28th, 2015 a Midland, MI Planet Fitness stood behind its “Judgement Free Zone” motto when female gym member Yvette Cormier raised complaints about Carlotta Sklodowska, a trans woman, using the women’s locker-room. Cormier complained at the front desk where she was told by both a front desk employee and Planet Fitness’ corporate office that “no judgement zone” means they do not judge who is “male” and who is “female.”
“A woman should not have to wait until she is viewed naked by a man … to secure legal protection,”
Attorney for Yvette Cormier
Once she was told that Sklodowska would be allowed to use the facilities as her chosen gender, Cormier created a scene throughout the gym, going around to other patrons and complaining to them and encouraging them to complain. She was eventually unsuccessful in her attempt as she found her own membership being the one terminated.
Cormier filed suit last march against PF Fitness-Midland LLC and Pla-Fit Franchise LLC claiming that her civil rights had been violated and had her privacy violated. She also asserted that Planet Fitness breached their contract with her.
The case was dismissed by Midland County Circuit Judge, Michael J. Beale, on January 4th of this year. His judgement was that the “inclusive” policy did not “go beyond the bounds of decency.”
However, the battle was far from over with Cormier appealing the case on January 28th. Responding to the dismissal, Cormier’s lawyers released the following statement:
“What is their ‘judgment-free zone’ supposed to mean? Does it mean, as their actions imply, that they lack all sense of judgment? Does it mean their customers cannot exercise any judgment in what they wear, or say, or do while in the facility? Or does it mean customers can exercise in the buff, knowing they will not be ‘judged’ for doing so?”
Cormier and the Kallman legal group have gained support for their case from Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland. Rep. Glenn is very supportive of the appeal and has stated his desire to see this case taken up by the Michigan Court of Appeals. Glenn has been very outspoken about the case so far.
“The man in this case defines himself as a ‘male slut-in-training,’” Citing statements on Sklodowska’s Facebook page. “Even he defines himself as a male. It is not difficult to explain why a woman would be uncomfortable in the same locker room.”
Glenn fears that this would be the beginning of a very slippery slope of behavior if Michigan adopts legislation to support gender identity.