Salons don't have to wax scrotum of male who claims to be female, tribunal says

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The transgender pride (L), pride (C) and Canada 150 pride flags fly following a flag raising ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 14, 2017. |

A human rights tribunal in Canada has ruled that a group of female employees of multiple waxing salons are not obligated to wax the genital region of a transgender activist who was born male but identifies as female.

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal ruled in the case of Yaniv v. Various Waxing Salons on Tuesday that Jessica Yaniv could not force the mostly female aestheticians from waxing the genital region of Yaniv.

Tribunal Member Devyn Cousineau ruled that the complaints Yaniv filed against Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and Sandeep Benipal, Marcia DaSilva, Judy Tran, Pam Dulay, and Merle Norman were “not justified” and dismissed them. He also dismissed the complaints against Sukhdip Hehar and Sukhi Beauty Dream Salon, and Hina Moin, saying they were "brought for improper motives."

“In the genital waxing cases, I find that scrotum waxing was not a service customarily provided by the Respondents. As such, they did not deny Ms. Yaniv a service and did not discriminate against her. I dismiss these complaints,” wrote Cousineau.

“In the leg and arm waxing cases, I find that Ms. Yaniv filed the complaints for improper purposes. I dismiss these complaints …”

Cousineau ordered that Yaniv pay $2,000 each to Ms. Benipal, Ms. DaSilva, and Mrs. Hehar, arguing that “a high costs award may be appropriate to denounce Ms. Yaniv’s conduct and deter similar behaviour in the future.”

“Her improper conduct has taken multiple forms and impacted a number of complaints. She has hurt the Respondents by filing these complaints for improper purposes. Her conduct has had a significant impact on the Tribunal’s process, taking up a lot of its scarce time and resources,” explained Cousineau.

“Ms. Yaniv deliberately sought to weaponize the Tribunal for financial gain and to punish individuals and groups. There is no evidence of mitigating health‐related factors that could explain Ms. Yaniv’s choices throughout this process.”

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a conservative law firm based in Calgary, Alberta who represented a few of the aestheticians, celebrated the decision.

“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” said Jay Cameron of JCCF in a statement released Tuesday.

“No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies.”

Born Jonathan Yaniv, Jessica Yaniv filed several complaints against various aestheticians based in the Vancouver area due to their refusal to provide waxing services to someone with male genitalia.

Yaniv argued in the complaints that denying service on the basis of being a biological male violated section 8 of the British Columbia human rights code.

In July, DaSilva, one of the women Yaniv was ordered by the Tribunal to pay $2,000, decided to close down her business in response to the transgender individual’s actions.

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