Oppose Spa World's Discriminatory Policy
According to The Fairfax Times, during Riya Suising's trip to Virginia last year for business, she went to Centerville's Spa World and was told she was not welcomed there because of her appearance. The spa management said that five spa customers had lodged complaints about her presence. In response to a Better Business Bureau investigation, Spa World representative Sang Lee responded “It is our policy to not accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender(s).”
In Virginia, there is no law currently protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in public accommodation. In Suising's home state of California she would have been protected. Virginia's private businesses are within their legal right to deny service to LGBT people. As consumers, we have the power to choose where we spend our money and use these opportunities to educated.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people in Virginia face high levels of discrimination according to a Virginia analysis of Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey released by Equality Virginia and partner organizations. According to the study, 47% of respondents were verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation or service, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports and government agencies.
Spa World, your policy of not serving potential consumers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does nothing more than add to the injustice that Virginia’s LGBT community faces.
I urge you to change your policy.