XY: Transgender in the next shower stall?
August 15, 2012
Better watch this one quick. This 2009 video archive of the 16×9 news program featuring the John Fulton case was only uploaded yesterday but trans are already trying to censor it and prevent it from being viewed- by reporting it to YouTube as “promoting hatred and violence” (!) :
Fulton was the owner of an Ontario women-only gym (which had only one open shower and change area) who was dragged before the Ontario Human Rights Commission three years ago by man with a penis, Lisa MacDonald- who insisted it was his human right to parade his dick into the open women’s shower. Fulton lost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees before MacDonald suddenly dropped his complaint. Since the Commission could not rule on the withdrawn complaint, Fulton had no resolution and no way to recoup his legal fees.
Case against John Fulton
In 2006, a transgendered woman (now known as Lisa MacDonald) visited Downtown Health Club for Women in St. Catharines, Ontario and asked owner John Fulton for Membership. MacDonald explained that she was actually a pre-operative Male-to-Female transsexual who was in the process of undergoing as sex-change operation, but for the time being, still possessed male gentalia. Fulton explained his concern that with only one change room and shower room in the club, admitting this individual would have meant allowing a man to observe the other patrons—all female—in various stages of undress. Approximately one week later, the individual filed a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging discrimination.
Fulton, and his lawyer Andrew Roman, argued that the Ontario Human Rights Code specifically permits facilities to serve a single sex on the grounds of public decency, and ordains that such restrictions do not constitute illegal discrimination. They also argued that that admitting the complainant would violate the rights of club members to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fulton also questioned how he was supposed to distinguish the applicant from a voyeur or an exhibitionist.
Fulton stated that he received calls from his members threatening to quit if the transgendered individual was allowed to join before the sex-change operation was completed. Fulton also claimed that the OHRC told him he had to let the transgendered individual use the women’s facilities but refused to provide him with a clear answer on what his rights and the rights of his female clients were in this situation. Fulton also stated he never denied membership to the applicant and that she was welcome to use club once the sex-change operation was completed.
The case was scheduled for a hearing in late 2009. However, the individual then withdrew the complaint without explanation. As a result, Fulton was left with legal bills of roughly $150,000 and argued that he had been wrongly accused of being a discriminatory without being given a chance to respond. The Tribunal refused to compensate Fulton for any costs, stating that it lacked the authority to do so. In an interview with the St. Catharines Standard, Fulton stated that “They put me through hell for three years and at the 11th hour, they dropped it. There really was no resolution … and my costs with this are huge.”
In declining to provide award any costs to Fulton, The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s Alternate Chair Kaye Joachim wrote that:
- the HRTO had no authority to award costs;
- no costs against could be awarded against the complainant because Alternate Chair Joachim ruled that there was no abuse the complaint process;
- the complainant had “raised important and novel questions about the scope of the Code and its application to transgendered individuals.”;
- Fulton and his lawyers “may have caused unnecessary legal costs by raising spurious preliminary issues,” including constitutional arguments that were later dropped;
- Fulton party’s request that MacDonald produce her entire medical history was, in part, “completely irrelevant to the issues raised in the application.
Fulton’s lawyer, Andrew Roman disargeed with Joachim’s comments, adding that “I’ll be taking steps to deal with that…The way the tribunal is set up now, the complainant is rewarded for taking a risk-free grab at a big bag of money. Roman claimed that at the mediation stage, the “typical payoff” is often around $20,000 and that if a person “can’t work out a settlement at mediation, you go to a hearing and have to pay many times that.” Fulton also claimed that the Commission pushed him to pay MacDonald, stating that “They told me that I had to pay her legal fees, write a letter of apology admitting guilt and I could make it go away,” but he refused, stating that ” I didn’t know what to do and I wanted … a tribunal decision. I’m stubborn.” He also stated that “They’re picking on the wrong guy. The OHRC needs to be rejigged … before other people end up being in a situation where they feel like they’re being extorted.”
Karen Selick, the litigation director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation which supported Mr. Fulton, sharply criticized the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and the process by which it handles complaints, writing in the National Post that:
“For complainants, the process is virtually risk-free. It costs them nothing to file a complaint, and the tribunal mediator will help explain the shakedown. If they want some legal help filing their complaint, they can get it gratis, at the taxpayer-funded Human Rights Legal Support Centre. And they never have to risk paying costs, no matter how ill-conceived or unjustified their complaint was. Heads, the complainant wins; tails, the accused loses.”
In February 2009, Afroze Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) expressed support for the applicant, arguing that:
“The [Ontario Human Rights] code does not distinguish between transsexuals who are at different stages of transition.. I think the important thing to remember there is how they identify themselves; what their sense is, that they are living as a man or living as a woman. Regardless of whether they’re preop or postop, it’s their lived gender that’s important.”
Interestingly, Kristen Worley- a male athlete and genderist who occupies a female slot in women’s cyclist rankings despite his male body – is interviewed in the program and comes out AGAINST the rights of males to inflict their penises on females in gym showers and change rooms.
Like I said: Watch it while you can!