Traverse City salon owner's online comments bring protest, city inquiry
The owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab took to social media and told transgender people in search of hair care to go see a pet groomer instead.
Traverse City is now investigating a complaint about the remarks, under its anti-discrimination laws.
The remarks from the owner of Studio 8 drew condemnation from some elected leaders and led to a demonstration outside the business earlier this week.
Reporters Elizabeth Brewer and Jordan Travis covered this for the Traverse City Record-Eagle and spoke about it with IPR.
- About 100 people met at the Civic Center in Traverse City to make signs protesting the remarks, then they walked over to the salon on Eighth Street to chant for an hour in front of the business.
- Studio 8 owner Christine Geiger declined to speak with the Record-Eagle, but gave prior interviews to The Associated Press and made additional comments on social media. She said she doesn't have an issue with people who identify as lesbian, bisexual or gay, but that she takes exception to people who identify outside male and female gender binaries.
- Hair care company Jack Winn Pro said on its social media that Studio 8 can no longer carry its products or affiliate with the company.
- Traverse City has an ordinance prohibiting public accommodations from discriminating against people based on gender identity. The city is investigating a complaint, but it's in the early stages. Possible outcomes include mediation or a lawsuit.
- Michigan recently expanded its statewide Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Earlier court rulings already prohibited it.
- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel — the first openly LGBTQ person elected to statewide office in Michigan — condemned the remarks.
- Nessel's spokesperson said any litigation brought under state law will likely not be affected by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a similar subject. In that case, justices sided with a website designer who declined to provide services for a same-sex marriage.