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  • Source: NBC4 News
  • California Barber Cites Religious Beliefs to Refuse Transgender Army Veteran a Haircut

    The Barbershop in Rancho Cucamonga refuses to serve women and people who identify as transgender. "People go against what God has created, you start getting everything all out of whack," he says.

    A barbershop in Rancho Cucamonga is getting a lot of attention after refusing service to a transgender man. Army veteran Kendall Oliver went online to book an appointment for a haircut at The Barbershop, but was surprised and humiliated after being turned away.

    "I identify as male,” Oliver told NBC4 News in an interview. “I just feel more comfortable that way... They said, 'It doesn't matter ma'am, we still won't cut a woman's hair."

    So why did The Barbershop really refuse service to Oliver?

    “I have religious convictions that prevent me from cutting women’s hair,” explained Richard Hernandez, owner of The Barbershop. He refuses to serve women and people who identify as transgender. "It's a shame for a man to have long hair, but if a woman has long hair, it's her glory and it speaks to being given to her as her covering, and I don't want to be one who is taking away from her glory."

    Oliver disagrees.

    "I don't see how that should affect a business. I'm a customer here, you provide a service, and everyone is entitled to that service," Oliver said.

    When interviewed by CBS2 News, Hernandez defended himself by saying, “It’s not our intention to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation or gender of anything like that. The Bible teaches us that a woman’s hair is her glory.”

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination by privately-owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. California goes even further by covering gender and sexual orientation. 

    This incident is the latest example of people using religion to discriminate against others. It goes to show that the so-called “religious freedom” bills popping up across the country have consequences that extend beyond bakeries refusing to bake cakes for same-sex couples. Here are a few other examples:

    • In February 2015, a pediatrician in Michigan refused to treat a newborn because the child’s parents were lesbians. She said she had prayed before making her decision.
    • In April 2013, a man was arrested at a hospital in Missouri when he refused to leave the bedside of his partner, even though he had a power of attorney.
    • In February 2015, a gay man was refused funeral services for his husband and then when the funeral did take place, church members handed the family antigay pamphlets.
    • In January 2016, Republican State Senator in Nebraska introduced a bill that would allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children in the homes of qualified LGBT parents.

    "People go against what God has created, you start getting everything all out of whack," Hernandez said when defending his right to discriminate; however he’s arguing a lost cause. Whether it’s denying the LGBT community medical attention, funeral services, marriage licenses, food, or even haircuts, discrimination is just wrong, period. In California, it’s even illegal. 

     

    Image: Screenshot via NBC4 News


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