US hair salon refuses to serve some trans customers after Supreme Court ruling

A LGBT pride flag waves in front of the Supreme Court

A hair salon in Michigan, US has said it won’t serve people who “identify as anything other than a man or woman” after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

On 30 June, the Supreme Court ruled that Christian wedding-website-designer, Lorie Smith, from Colorado, could refuse to serve LGBTQ+ couples.

It appears the ruling has paved the way for businesses to refuse LGBTQ+ customers across America.

In a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, Studio 8 Hair Lab, based in Traverse City, about 250 miles north west of Detroit, stated that anyone who identifies as anything other than a man or woman “are not welcome”.

The post said they should instead seek services “at a local pet groomer”.

The salon’s owner, Christine Geiger, told 9&10 News she doesn’t support the TQ+ part of the LGBTQ+ community. She said she’s taking a stand against being “forced” to use people’s preferred pronouns and legislation that she feels infringe on her rights. 

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Geiger’s post has been met with condemnation, with users calling to get the “bigot [owner] out of business”.

Response to hair salon refusing to service parts of the LGBTQ+ community
A Facebook user took to the platform to call to “get the bigot out of business” following a hair salon saying it won’t serve anyone who identifies as anything other than a man or a woman. (Facebook / Megan Caplinger)

One user branded the statement “disgusting” in a post which has seen hundreds of responses that signal agreement.

In response to the salon’s post, Polestar, a local LGBTQ+ organisation, said: “Studio 8 Hair Lab’s recent comments comparing members of the queer community to animals are not welcomed in Traverse City, period.

“Hate has shown time and time again to be a losing business strategy and we must not allow this blight to take root in our town.

“Statements like this one undermine the hard work that has been put in to make Traverse City the absolute best that it can be.” 

It isn’t the first time a business owner has won a case in the Supreme Court over the right to refuse customers based on sexual orientation. 

In 2021, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, won on the grounds of “religious freedom” after refusing to serve a gay couple, while Barronelle Stutzman, a Christian florist, settled her case after refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.

In March, PinkNews spoke to a trans hairdresser about why she has ditched gendered price lists to promote equality and inclusion.