A biological man who claims to identify as a woman filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to use the state’s gender identity law to force a female-oriented spa to wax the area around his genitals.
The man demanded that the South Shore spa provide him with a “full Brazilian” wax and other beauty services under the state’s gender identity law, reports the New Boston Post.
The complainant claimed other spas in Braintree and Quincy also refused to service him because, he stated, they “said I was not really a woman because I had a penis.”
He reportedly said he is “a very desirable customer” because he tips well.
The man, whose name is reportedly blacked out in documents from the Attorney General’s Office, filed the complaint in December and then withdrew it in January, citing a desire to obtain another lawyer.
According to the news account, the complainant told the Attorney General’s Office he received advice in drafting his complaint from Mason Dunn, co-chairman of the Freedom Massachusetts Coalition, who is leading the campaign to approve a statewide referendum on a statute that designates gender identity as a special protected class in public accommodations.
In July 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, signed into law a bill dubbed the Bathroom Law; it gives special class protections to gender identity in public accommodations. In November, Massachusetts voters will be asked to either undo the gender identity class protection for public accommodations or retain it.
“The Yes on 3 campaign is focused on preventing discrimination and harassment of transgender people in all public places,” Dunn, who is also executive director of Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, said. “We all care about safety and privacy and nothing about the transgender nondiscrimination law puts anyone at risk. This law is about upholding dignity and respect for transgender people and that’s why we’re voting Yes on 3.”
However, Chanel Prunier, executive director of the Renew Massachusetts Coalition, said the law places women in the beauty services industry at risk.
“No law should force a woman to touch a man in a place she doesn’t feel comfortable, and she shouldn’t be forced to choose between her livelihood and touching the genitals of someone she doesn’t want to touch,” she added. “This law goes way too far and should be repealed”:
Under the #BathroomLaw that we are working to repeal, a biological male has the legal right to request a “full Brazilian” and to receive it from women against their will.
— MA Family Institute (@MAFamilyInst) September 28, 2018
Massachusetts Family Institute is also opposing the law.
Andrew Beckwith, the group’s president, said in a blog post, “What’s even worse, under the gender identity law we are working so hard to repeal, this man has the legal right to that ‘service’ and to receive that service from women against their will.”
Beckwith said given that Dunn helped the man with his complaint, it is “now undeniable that the activists promoting this law fully intend to use it to force women to do things against their will with male bodies.”
The New Boston Post reported that Lucas Newbill, a Massachusetts civil rights attorney with no connection to the beauty spa case, said beauty salons are places of public accommodation under the statute.
“The complainant made it clear that the nail salon was happy to treat the client … except with regards to the Brazilian wax,” Newbill told the Post. “This is a restriction in treatment that the complainant could reasonably argue violates her civil rights as protected under § 98.”
“The nail salon might argue, however, that this is not a restriction in treatment because they simply don’t offer the service of waxing a person’s scrotum, whether on the body of one who identifies as a woman or a man,” the lawyer added. “Additionally, for the state to require anyone to touch a scrotum or penis, which is what application of § 98 could be interpreted to require in this situation, raises civil rights questions of its own.”