Spa World, in Centreville, Virginia, is under fire for a letter they wrote about banning LGBT people because they have “abnormal sexual behaviors and orientation” and are a threat to children.
According to FairfaxTimes.com, the Better Business Bureau opened up an investigation into Spa World after Riya Suisin, a man who self-identifies as a woman, complained that she was asked to leave the establishment which has nude single-gender bathing pools.
Suising -- who has male sex organs -- offended an unidentified female customer, apparently.
“They told me that I was not welcome there and to leave because I looked a little different,” said Suising.
Sang Lee, a representative for Spa World, responded to the Better Business Bureau investigation in a letter that said: “It is our policy to not accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender(s).
“Also, for the safety and the comfort of young children at Spa World, we strongly forbid any abnormal sexual behaviors and orientation in our facility. Despite the controversial issue of homosexuality and transgender, it is our policy to not accept them."
Spa World manager James Lee has issued a clarification about the company’s policy to the Washington City Paper, which reports:
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According to Spa World manager James Lee, employees did ask a transgender woman to leave following complaints from other customers about a man in the areas reserved for women. After receiving a refund, the woman, Riya Suising, left, and later filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
...When reached by the Better Business Bureau, the Times reported, Spa World employee Sang Lee wrote, "Despite the controversial issue of homosexuality and transgender, it is our policy to not accept them."
But according to James Lee, Sang Lee meant to write only that sexual activity, either gay or straight, is not allowed at Spa World. "The Korean-English barrier just made a small miscommunication," James Lee says.
Suising wasn't engaged in sexual activity when Spa World employees asked her to leave. "There was a woman inside of the woman's sauna, and we had many complaints about that particular person, stating there was a man inside of the woman's locker room," James Lee. Although a transgender woman using Spa World's nude areas doesn't violate the bathhouse's policy as Lee describes it, "It caught us all off-guard," he says.
According to Lee, Spa World's policy is to allow customers of any sexual orientation or gender identity. As for any future complaints regarding transgender customers, Lee says they won't be asked to leave again.