An unnamed male-to-female transgender is suing a spa in Canada after a female Muslim employee refused to wax him, citing religious grounds.
According to the filed complaint, the trans woman tried to get a body waxing at Mad Wax beauty spa in March but was turned away when no one was available to perform the waxing. The employee who typically waxes male customers was out on sick leave, and the other employee working, a Muslim woman, refused, as she will not make physical contact with any male she is not related to.
The complaint was brought before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The application to the tribunal, filled out by the trans woman, says the spa’s “refusal to provide me with leg-waxing services because I am a Transgender woman, and their disclosing my name, gender identity and personal information to various media outlets has left me feeling threatened, exposed, with my rights violated in terms of seeking services as a woman in the Windsor-Essex community.”
The complainant is seeking $50,000 for “immense harm to my dignity.”
Mad Wax, though, is standing by their employee. Jason Carruthers, president and CEO of Mad Wax Windsor Camp Inc., said he welcomes and respects his employee’s religious beliefs.
“All clients regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation are welcome,” said Carruthers in a statement to CTV News. “However, we also welcome staff members and respect their religious beliefs and feelings of safety and dignity in regards to the right not to perform waxing services on males or male genitals.”
Carruthers’ attorney, Ray Colautti, added that the spa “respects its own staff and religious beliefs and feelings of safety and dignity in regards to the right in not performing waxing services that they don’t feel comfortable providing.”
As noted by The Christian Post, a religious freedom case in the United States with regard to Christian bakers, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court. The Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, services LGBT people frequently, but refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding service, citing his devout Christian beliefs.