When the Supreme Court ruled on June 30 in favor of a Colorado web designer who sought to refuse to make wedding websites for (theoretical) gay couples, activists and legal experts warned it would open the door to all kinds of businesses discriminating against LGBTQ+ Americans. Days later, at least one such case has popped up. Last week, a hair salon in Traverse City, Michigan, announced that it would not serve transgender clients, comparing them to animals. The post made it clear that the salon sees discrimination as condoned under a free speech argument, just like the web designer. The post was accompanied by the hashtag #takeastand.
When criticized in an online review of the business, the salon’s owner, Christine Geiger, responded by sticking to her position, saying, “LGB are more than welcome however the rest of it is not something I support.” Geiger’s language mirrors the hateful rhetoric circulated by many right-wing politicians about trans people. On Tuesday, after the comments circulated on Facebook and were picked up by local news, Geiger deleted her personal and professional Facebook page and set the salon’s Instagram profile to private.
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