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,”
David Kallman
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.

  • Kiersten

    I think Planet Fitness will find it necessary in the future to have new members assign themselves a ‘gender’ on member applications in the future to protect themselves.. But what does that say about gender fluid people… Building codes need to require gender neutral bathrooms in all future construction or major remodels…

    • Chloe

      Very true. I’ve known a lot of gender fluid or other non binary people, and I used to identify as such before my identity evolved and I realized I was a woman. I know a lot of the challenges non binary individuals face from both the outside world and even the trans world itself. We need to not erase gender entirely but there needs to be a place for those who are not binary in this world, they need a place where they don’t have to fight to be themselves and we need to stop fighting them on it, allow their gender. I can understand how someone would be afraid if they didn’t understand transgender people and saw the words “slut in training” it’s a poor choice of words to be defending in court, but it shouldn’t matter. I’m standing behind PF as I’m a member, and to this day I’ve never had any problem, and I change and shower in the locker rooms every time I go. It’s one of those places I really can be me without worrying about makeup or whatever.

  • Kookie

    All businesses should build a third bathroom for transgender’s to use. I’m not against transgender’s I just don’t want child predator’s and perverts to use this as an excuse to use the women’s room.

  • Kookie

    The Judgement Free Zone at Planet Fitness means they don’t judge people on how much they weigh or how much weight they can lift or how many reps they can do on the machines, has nothing to do with bathrooms.