I always find it interesting that those who claim to be promoting tolerance are among the most intolerant of all. It seems like we are seeing more and more of this every day in our country.
One of the most recent (and very blatant) examples of this supposed tolerance occurred right in my own backyard in Michigan. It is centered on a case involving the Planet Fitness gym chain. Yvette Cormier, who was a member at one of the Planet Fitness locations in Michigan, was shocked to see a man in the women’s locker room, so she tried to reason with the company, explaining why her concerns were justified and needed to be addressed. She quickly discovered what tolerance really means in today’s upside-down world; she was also learning how common sense isn’t so common any more.
According to Planet Fitness, it was Cormier who was the problem. After all, who is she to complain? It didn’t matter to management that their client was surprised and startled after bumping into a man in an area reserved for women. Instead, management pressed upon her (and just about everyone else through their ridiculous statements), the need, again, for tolerance. They explained the man in question apparently identifies as a woman so, therefore, he has every right to use the women’s locker room.
“Planet Fitness is committed to creating a nonintimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity nondiscrimination policy states that members and guests may use all facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.”
Nonintimidating and welcoming for whom? Cormier was also told that the gym was a “no judgment zone.” Obviously not for Cormier or anyone else uncomfortable with men using women’s facilities or vice versa. In the name of tolerance, Planet Fitness then told Cormier to grab her gym bag and go exercise somewhere else. Her membership was canceled. They also insisted in their statement that it was all Cormier’s fault, and she had no one else to blame but herself for her backward intolerant attitude.
“In expressing her concerns about the policy, the member in question exhibited behavior that club management deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement, and, as a result, her membership was canceled.”
In an interview with a Midland, Michigan, TV station, Cormier said she is still stunned by the entire experience.
“He looked like a man. He did not look like a woman. This is very unprofessional. This is very scary. [Planet Fitness] told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that’s the sex he wants to be. It is kind of one-sided. I feel like I am the one being punished.”
No kidding. As the president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, commented on one of his recent blogs, you can’t make this stuff up, and this type of intolerance is only going to get worse for Christians and other concerned citizens.
“Sound bizarre? Unfortunately, this is the kind of topsy-turvy scenario that will be playing out in public restrooms, showers and locker rooms across the country if more cities don’t turn back this push to elevate sexual orientation and gender identity above personal privacy and public safety. You don’t have to be a Christian or a conservative to understand the practical effects of these laws. “Tolerance,” Perkins wrote, “sounds like a great idea until your little girl is in the restroom with a grown man. By introducing gender politics into an environment like a gym, Planet Fitness is creating a culture ripe for abuse.”
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio and heard daily on EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130.