The Michigan Appeals Court has ruled 3-0 that Yvette Cormier has no claim against Planet Fitness over its transgender-inclusive policies.
Back in 2015 Cormier encountered a transgender woman in a locker room. She decided that she needed to repeatedly warn all other women in the establishment. Planet Fitness responded by revoking her membership.
Cormier's argument that she had been subjected to sexual harassment and invasion of privacy was rejected because the Court found that she had in fact never been subjected to verbal pr physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
She saw a transgender woman in the locker room, but the woman (who is unfortunately referred to as a “transgender man” in the written decision) didn’t do anything to Cormier that would actually be considered a violation. Indeed, they were both clothed when the interaction Cormier objected to took place.
Likewise, Cormier’s claim that her privacy was violated fell flat. “She has simply not alleged an intrusion of that privacy,” the Court found. Even if another guest had improperly spied on her changing or showering — which she didn’t allege — her claim would be against that individual, not Planet Fitness itself. Furthermore, she continued to use the facilities for some time after learning of the gym’s policies respecting and affirming transgender members. “Even though plaintiff did not agree with the policy, her use of the locker room after her knowledge of the policy constituted consent to any intrusion, defeating her claim of invasion of privacy.”
Perhaps most noteworthy was the Court’s disinterest in Cormier’s claims that she had suffered emotional distress because she had shared a space with a transgender woman. “Transgender rights and policies are polarizing issues and each individual may have a feeling on the issue and on what locker room such individuals should be using,” the Court wrote. “Regardless of whether an average member of the community may find the policy outrageous, the fact is that plaintiff did not suffer severe emotional distress as a matter of law.”
Cormier was represented by the Kallman Legal Group, notable for taking on anti-LGBTQ cases.
In 2013, the firm objected to a local township implementing LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections by comparing homosexuality to “extramarital sex, polygamy, pedophilia, serial killer rapists, necrophilia, bestiality, and incest” and claiming that only a “mind-reader” could determine whether a person is transgender to avoid discriminating against them.