Just as I was about to step into a lunch meeting yesterday, I got call from Gina Mangieri saying that her story on the gender identity lawsuit garnered so much interest (and questions) from viewers, she wanted to immediately do a follow-up story on some related issues. For this second story, she wanted to talk about access for transgender individuals to areas open to the public, including restaurants at private businesses, as well as locker rooms for gyms such as 24-Hour Fitness. Therefore, I went to the KHON2 studios to meet with her to answer a few questions about Hawaii’s public accommodations law.
During this interview, I explained that Hawaii’s public accommodations law prohibited businesses from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their gender identity. In other words, a private business (that is open to the public) cannot refuse service to an individual on the basis that the individual is a transgender. Specifically, Hawaii’s public accommodations law prohibits businesses from denying an individual “the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation on the basis of race, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, color, religion, ancestry, or disability are prohibited.” I also noted, however, that unlike the law on public accommodations for individuals with disabilities, the law is not entirely clearly on what types of accommodations must be provided to transgender individuals, if any.
You can view the news clip on KHON2′s website here: Anti-Discrimination Law Doesn’t Specify Access for Transgenders.
On a side note, before we started our interview, I saw Joe Moore and Pat Sajak walking together through the studio. Apparently, they are doing a play together at the Hawaii Theatre later this month.