Added: Crosby Hale - Date: 10.07.2021 16:27 - Views: 10655 - Clicks: 2461
AP — The Connecticut Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with the issues of sexual discrimination, differences between women and men and even the definition of gender while hearing arguments over whether fitness clubs can have women-only exercise areas. The case has raised many thorny questions.
Should women be protected from the ogling of men they believe are objectifying them? Do women-only workout areas discriminate against men who have to wait in line to use equipment in the general public area? What about women whose religions bar them from exercising with men?
Should lesbian women be barred from the women-only areas because they might objectify women? And what about transgender people? The court made no decision Wednesday and a ruling is expected in several months.
Challenges to women-only workout areas have arisen in other states. Some lawsuits challenging such areas have been successful, but several states including Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey have changed their gender discrimination laws to exclude fitness clubs.
The Connecticut case involves two men who complained about women-only exercise areas at two gyms — an Edge Fitness club in Stratford and a Club Fitness in Bloomfield.
Connecticut specifically exempts bathrooms, sleeping areas and locker rooms from gender discrimination laws, which do not mention female-only workout areas. The complaints went before the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and a hearing officer ruled the women-only areas did not violate state discrimination laws.
The commission then appealed to the Supreme Court. The Superior Court case included expert testimony on how women feel sexually objectified when exercising alongside men. A host of organizations filed briefs with the state Supreme Court.
Several groups supported female-only exercise places. Lawyers for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut wrote such spaces are important for women whose religious beliefs bar them from exercising in front of men — a position supported by several other religious groups named in the brief. Some of the justices asked on Wednesday whether the state legislature should take up the issue and decide whether to add an exemption for female-only exercise areas. Justice Christine Keller asked lawyers for the gyms if women had the right to their own workout areas, should they be entitled to their own spaces at other businesses and public places as well?
Should women get their own areas in bars and public swimming pools to avoid being hit on and objectified, she asked. James Shea, a lawyer for Edge Fitness, told the justices that gyms, unlike other places like public swimming pools and beaches, are male-dominated locations where women-only areas are needed.
They feel the observation. High court mulls if women-only areas at gyms discriminate. The Connecticut Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday, May 5,with the complex issues of sexual discrimination, differences between women and men and even the definition of gender while hearing arguments over whether fitness clubs can have women-only exercise areas. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.Wednesday only man or woman
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High court mulls if women-only areas at gyms discriminate