Women's spa forced to let in men after losing legal case
According to the court ruling, a female-only nude spa in Seattle lacks the right to bar males from its facilities.
A female-only nude spa in Washington State has been forced to give biological males access to its facilities following an unsuccessful legal battle against the Washington State Human Rights Commission, according to an article published by The Post Millennial. A Seattle court ruled that Olympus Spa, which has locations in Lynnwood and Tacoma, could not constitutionally prevent biological males from bathing naked with women.
The WSHRC had previously found that the business discriminated against a trans-identified male, and ordered the owners to change their policy to accept those who simply call themselves female. The man, Haven Wilvich, first submitted his complaint in 2020 after being refused entry on the grounds that his male genitalia were still present. In May of 2020, Wilvich, a trans-identified male submitted a complaint to the WSHRC alleging discrimination on the basis of his gender identity, according to Reduxx.
Haven Wilvich had sought a membership at the Olympus Spa in January of 2020, but had been denied on the basis that he had not undergone “gender reassignment” surgeries. In the complaint, Wilvich alleged his application to use the facilities at the spa had been rejected after staff told him that “transgender women without surgery are not welcome because it could make other customers and staff uncomfortable.” In contrast, none of the spa staff recall having previously met or spoken to the man, nor was there any evidence that he had actually applied for membership to the spa.
The owner of the spa, Myoon Woon Lee, and the spa’s president, Sun Lee, are of Korean heritage and modeled the spa after the Korean tradition of jjimjilbang, citing their Christian faith as a reason why they did not wish to accommodate males in the facility. In March, the WSHRC served the spa with a Notice of Complaint of Discrimination and asked the owners to respond to the claim they had acted in a discriminatory manner.
We firmly believe it is essential for the safety, legal protection, and well-being of our customers and employees that we maintain adherence to this adaptation of a females-only rule,” the leaders of the spa wrote, indicating that Olympus Spa was „unwilling to remake the the tradition of ‘jjimjilbang’ haven that we have worked so hard over many years to build and preserve, simply for the sake of promoting gender neutrality,” Sun Lee wrote.
However, the WSHRC upheld their ruling, and offered the spa a Pre-Finding Settlement agreement to avoid prosecution. The Pre-Finding Settlement required the spa to remove all references to “biological women” on their site, and provide staff with “inclusivity” training.
In 2022, the spa sued WSHRC, but the court dismissed their lawsuit this week, offering Olympus Spa 30 days to amend their complaint and refile.