This Michigan Hair Salon Owner Will Apparently Refuse Trans And Queer Clients

Transgender people needing a haircut should go to “a local pet groomer,” Christine Geiger wrote, according to a local news outlet.

A Michigan hair salon owner announced on Facebook that she would not be providing services to transgender or queer people, reportedly writing that they should seek a grooming service for animals.

Christine Geiger, the owner of Studio 8 Hair Lab in Traverse City, told local outlet 9&10 News that she is OK with lesbian, gay and bisexual people but refuses to use preferred pronouns and has a right to deny service.

This comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for some business owners to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“If a human identifies as anything other than a man/woman, please seek services at a local pet groomer,” Geiger wrote on Studio 8 Hair Lab’s Facebook page, according to screenshots published by 9&10 News.

“You are not welcome at this salon. Period,” she added.

“This is America; free speech. This small business has the right to refuse services. We are not bound to any oaths as realtors are regarding discrimination. My recent airport experience validates this,” Geiger wrote without further explanation.

HuffPost was not able to independently verify the Facebook post since Geiger made her business’ social media accounts private in the wake of reporting on her new discrimination policy. Phone calls to the business went straight to a voicemail box that was not accepting new messages.

In a separate Facebook comment under her own name, Geiger spouted misinformation: “I have no issues with LGB. It’s the TQ+ that I’m not going to support. For those that don’t know what the + is for, it’s for MAP (Minor Attracted Person aka: pedophile).”

The plus sign in the LGBTQ+ acronym is actually a placeholder for the following identities: intersex, asexual, pansexual, two-spirit and omnisexual.

Geiger added that her stance “was taken to insure that clients have the best experience and I am admitting that since I am not willing to play the pronoun game or cater to requests outside of what I perceive as normal this probably isn’t the best option for that type of client.”

She described her salon on Instagram as “a private CONSERVATIVE business that does not cater to woke ideologies.”

HuffPost reached out to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

Nathan Triplett, president of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Michigan chapter, said on social media that “contrary to claims made by this salon owner,” refusing to serve someone because of their gender identity violates Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. The 1977 law made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, race, age, weight, sex and other characteristics; it was expanded earlier this year to include gender identity and expression.

The recent Supreme Court decision siding with a website designer who refused to serve a hypothetical gay couple, 303 Creative v. Elenis, “doesn’t permit this type of discrimination,” Triplett said.

Geiger told 9&10 News that she made her announcement because she opposed legislation supposedly passed by the Michigan state House that would criminalize misgendering someone. But no such legislation exists.

Conservative outlets, including Fox News, reported misleadingly on a measure that would expand hate crime law to include protections for LGBTQ+ people, where the word “pronoun” does not even appear in the drafted language, as The Detroit News pointed out.

“Had this salon owner read the bills she references, she would have seen they in no way criminalize the use of wrong pronouns,” state Rep. Betsy Coffia (D) said in a statement. “The bill protects every Michigander from hate-based violence and ensures accountability and justice for all while specifically exempting constitutionally protected speech.”

Coffia represents a district that includes Traverse City, a popular summer vacation spot in the uppermost part of the Lower Peninsula.

The Polestar LGBTQ+ Community Center of Traverse City reacted to Geiger by writing on Facebook, “Hate has no home here. Both Polestar and Traverse City welcome all!”

Michigan’s Democratic-led state government has been trying to cement LGBTQ+ civil rights at a time when Republican-led state governments are rapidly trying to take them away.

“Our LGBTQ+ friends, family, and neighbors deserve equal protection under the law so they can live their authentic lives, and I want everyone to know that Michigan is a place that will fight for your freedom to be yourself,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement in March upon signing a bill to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

“Guaranteeing equal legal protections to LGBTQ+ Michiganders is the right thing to do,” Whitmer said at the time. “It’s also just good economics, which is why business groups from across our state stand with us.”

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