A Florida woman had her membership in a fitness club revoked after complaining about a man using the women’s locker room, a religious liberty organization says.
Liberty Counsel alleges that Planet Fitness in Leesburg, Fla., terminated the membership of a “Mrs. H.” after a man, Jordan “Ivy” Rice, invaded her privacy in the locker room.
“This is not the only incident with Mr. Rice known to Planet Fitness,” a letter to Planet Fitness read. “Another woman reported that he exposed his naked body to her in the woman's locker room at this location. In another instance, he was involved in an argument with another woman over use of the tanning room.”
Liberty Counsel said “misogynist, anti-woman harassment should have no place in Planet Fitness locations, and violates Florida law.”
The woman is the survivor of an attempted rape, the letter said, and is “keenly aware of and sensitive to men” being in places “where they do not have a legitimate purpose, and where she and other women are in a position of vulnerability.”
“Planet Fitness must immediately reinstate Mrs. H’s membership, and make changes to its membership and locker room policies to prevent blatant sex-based harassment by males in the women’s lockers and restrooms,” the letter said.
In a press release, Liberty Counsel said the man claims to be transgender but “is obviously a man and his behavior indicates he derives enjoyment from depriving women of privacy.”
“Rice, dressed in gray sweatpants and a tank top, was standing in the women’s locker room, facing the mirror and pretending to apply makeup,” the press release says. “’Mrs. H.’ needed to use the restroom and politely asked him to leave. Instead, Rice smirked and watched her in the mirror where he had a full view of every woman entering or exiting the shower and locker area. Rice remained there for at least an hour to intentionally deny ‘Mrs. H.’ the privacy she desired. The Planet Fitness staff permitted Rice to monopolize the women’s locker room and impede ‘Mrs. H.’s’ rightful use of it.”
Planet Fitness told the Daily Commercial newspaper that guests may use whichever locker room they wish.
“Under our gender identity non-discrimination policy, members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity,” Planet Fitness said in a statement. “Furthermore, all of our locker rooms include private changing areas for those that seek additional privacy. As this is pending litigation we are unable to comment further.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com
Publication Date: July 25, 2018
Photo Courtesy: Pexels/Pixabay
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.