Woman to sue gym that banned her for complaining about trans customer

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Yvette Cormier is suing Planet Fitness for banning her when she complained about a trans woman in the women’s changing rooms.

Ms Cormier complained to the gym that she had seen “a man” – in fact a trans woman – in the women’s changing room. According to Planet Fitness, her continued complaints were “inappropriate and disruptive”.

Planet Fitness banned her under their “No Judgement” policy, saying: “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.”

Ms Cormier went on to misgender the trans woman in the press, and claimed Planet fitness were “unprofessional” for allowing trans people to use the facilities they are most comfortable with.

Ms Cormier is seeking $25,000 in damages for “loss of use of gym facilities”, “fear about using the gym facilities”, “embarrassment and humiliation”, “severe emotional distress,” and “damage to reputation”, as well as “all other damages that reasonably flow from [Planet Fitnesses’] outrageous behavior.”

The lawsuit states: “Defendants conduct caused Mrs. Cormier embarrassment, humiliation, and severe emotional distress as she was subjected to using the same locker room as a man, and subsequently having her membership terminated, because of her refusal to submit to this invasion of her privacy.”

In a statement, Kallman Legal Group, who represent Ms Cormier, said: “Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant’s gym because she objected to Defendant’s unknown policy. The policy allows men who self-identify as women to use the women’s facilities, including the women’s locker room and showers.

Mrs. Cormier has filed this lawsuit to protect Michigan women and children and to hold Planet Fitness accountable for its irresponsible policy and actions. This case further illustrates the potential harm caused by adding the proposed new categories of sexual orientation/gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

The law firm has a history of opposing LGBT rights, according to Think Progress, once submitting a legal memo objecting to non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, and comparing it to “polygamy, incest, pedophilia and necrophilia”. They have previously represented hate group the American Family Association.