Transgender bill would put fitness clubs in a tough spot

Letter to the editor

November 23, 2011

As a previous manager of the Supreme Sports Club's Women's Gym, I oppose the bill that would make gender identification a protected classification under county law. This bill would force managers into accepting applications from transgender men and possibly force them to hire transgender men for staffing a room strictly created for women. Some of these women are there for religious reasons. Orthodox Jews and Muslims come to mind right off the bat. There are also women who go there because they have been abused sexually or emotionally by men and feel threatened in the regular gym.

It will also create tension in the locker rooms when transgender persons go into them. There are many gyms in Columbia that are open 24 hours. It will place women at risk when they cannot safely count on the locker rooms being free from men. For if a staff member cannot say to a man, "I'm sorry you can't go into the women's locker room," it seriously puts women at risk. This is not saying transgender people will attack women, but rather saying that unscrupulous men can take advantage of not being called out.

Tonya Tiffany

Columbia

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