A traditional Korean spa in Centreville, Virginia rejects LGBT customers as a matter of policy, according to the Fairfax Times.
The situation came to light last year when a trans woman visited the 24-hour spa on a trip from California, and was asked by an attendant to leave.
“They told me that I was not welcome there and to leave because I looked a little different,” she said. “Let’s say I am a member of the LGBT population.”
The woman filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and it turns out it wasn’t just a bigoted staffer:.
The Better Business Bureau opened an investigation, and on Jan. 28, Spa World representative Sang Lee responded to the BBB in writing by stating “It is our policy to not accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender(s).”The Spa World written reply goes on to say that the spa stands by this policy for the sake of young children who utilize the facility. “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,” Lee wrote.
Look, we’re not stupid—we know sometimes things happen in spas that shouldn’t. And anyone who gets busted doing that stuff should probably be made to leave. But there’s a difference between sexual activity and sexual orientation. And certainly between sexual behavior and gender expression.
It would seem Spa World is within its rights: Virginia’s anti-discrimination laws only prevent the government from discriminating against state employees based on sexual orientation.