SASKATOON — A Canadian bridal boutique has reached a settlement with a man who identifies as a woman after the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission ruled that the owner broke the law by refusing to allow him to try on a gown for his wedding.
The incident occurred in April of this year as Rohit Singh, who moved to Canada from India three years ago, went to Jenny’s Bride Boutique with his fiance Colin Peace to shop for a gown for their “wedding.”
However, when Singh wanted to try on a particular gown in the women’s changing room, owner Jenny Correia refused to allow him to do so.
“I don’t allow men to wear dresses in my store,” she stated, according to reports.
“I’m not a man. I’m a transgender and my sex change procedure is going on,’’ Singh replied.
“He looked like a man,” Correia told CBC News. “There were quite a few brides in the store. If you see a man trying on dresses, you’re going to feel uncomfortable.”
But Singh asserted that he was wrongly being discriminated against, and wanted to ensure that other men who identify as “transgenders” will be able to utilize the bridal boutique.
“It might happen to some other transgender that might come to the store and she will hurt the same,” he told the publication. “It so embarrassed me and my husband.”
Singh then filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, who ruled that Correi had “infringed Section 12 of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code by denying a transgender woman service.”
Following the decision, both sides went into mediation in an attempt to reach a settlement.
“Typically, and where resolution involves a financial obligation, money is paid to a complain[ant] often as a recognition of damage to dignity or, sometimes, for lost income,” the Commission wrote in a news release about the matter.
However, Singh asked that instead of paying him damages for the incident, Correia should donate to two local organizations that support homosexuality and transgenderism. Therefore, the bridal shop owner has now agreed to contribute $500 each to Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity and Aids Saskatoon.
“I’m quite happy with the settlement.” Singh told reporters. “I don’t think any other business will do this again … after hearing these results.”
Response to the settlement from the general public has been mixed.
“Why would anyone turn away a paying customer, no matter what gender, size, shape, etc. they are?” one commenter asked. “As a business owner for many years, my interests are pretty simple: I make sales and keep my clients happy. As long as they like my work and their money is good, they can show up in a duck suit for all I care.”
“So the kangaroo court is having someone write another cheque. Imagine that,” another wrote. “With this precedent, dudes everywhere can try on wedding dresses!”
“The world is getting stranger,” a third commenter stated. “It seems only the minorities have a right to gather and voice their opinions; everyone else is intimidated.”