“She requested waxing of her scrotum” – Human Rights Tribunal’s ruling against Jessica Yaniv

“She requested waxing of her scrotum” – Human Rights Tribunal’s ruling against Jessica Yaniv

On October 22, 2019 the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal issued its ruling in the legal case between Jessica Yaniv (the complainant) and various waxing salons (Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and Sandeep Benipal, Suhki Hehar and Sukhi Beauty Dream Salon, Marcia DaSilva, Hina Moin, Pam Dulay, Judy Tran and Merle Norman):

[1] Jessica Yaniv is a transgender woman. All of the Respondents operate businesses which offer waxing services. Ms. Yaniv requested waxing services from each of the Respondents. In five cases, she requested waxing of her scrotum. In two, she requested waxing of her arms or legs. In each case, she told the Respondent that she was a transgender woman and the Respondent refused to provide Ms. Yaniv with service. Ms. Yaniv says that this refusal to serve her is discrimination on the basis of her gender identity and expression, in violation of s. 8 of the Human Rights Code [Code].

[2] With one exception, all of the Respondents are women who advertised their services through Facebook Marketplace. They were either providing the service out of their home, or in the client’s home. Most of them presented as racialized, with English not their first language. Only three Respondents presented a defence to Ms. Yaniv’s complaints. These characteristics are significant because they support my conclusion that Ms. Yaniv has engaged in a pattern of filing human rights complaints which target small businesses for personal financial gain and/or to punish certain ethnic groups which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

[3] In this decision, I analyse Ms. Yaniv’s complaints in two categories: genital waxing cases and cases involving arm and leg waxing. In the genital waxing cases, I find that scrotum waxing was not a service customarily provided by the Respondents. As such, they did not deny Ms. Yaniv a service and did not discriminate against her. I dismiss these complaints under s. 37(1) of the Code. In the leg and arm waxing cases, I find that Ms. Yaniv filed the complaints for improper purposes. I dismiss these complaints under s. 27(1)(e) of the Code.

[4] The three Respondents which presented a defence were all represented by Jay Cameron and Brandon Langhelm of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms [JCCF]. Ms. Yaniv has applied for an order of costs against these Respondents arising out of conduct which she attributes to Mr. Cameron and the JCCF. She also applies for costs specifically against the Respondent Sukhdip Hehar. I dismiss all of Ms. Yaniv’s applications for costs. I do, however, find that Ms. Yaniv has engaged in improper conduct during the course of this complaint. I order her to pay the represented Respondents $2,000 each.

The ruling is available here.

Toronto Mayor Tory calls to ban feminist Meghan Murphy after welcoming anti LGBT Imam

Toronto Mayor Tory calls to ban feminist Meghan Murphy after welcoming anti LGBT Imam

Toronto Mayor, John Tory, supports banning Vancouver-based feminist journalist Meghan Murphy from speaking at the Toronto Public Library because of her views on transgenders.

Murphy was invited by Toronto-based group Radical Feminists Unite to speak on an October 29 panel at the Toronto Public Library – Palmerston Branch called “Gender Identity: What Does It Mean For Society, The Law And Women?”

Founder of Feminist Current, a blog and podcast, Murphy hase criticized third-wave feminism, male feminists, the sex industry, exploitation of women in mass media, trigger warnings, and transgender legislation.

In May 2017, she appeared before the Canadian Senate to oppose Bill C-16, which encoded gender identity and gender expression into Canadian law. She told the Senate: “Treating gender as though it is either internal or a personal choice is dangerous and completely misunderstands how and why women are oppressed under patriarchy as a class of people … The rights of women and girls are being pushed aside to accommodate a trend.”

Describing her views as “offensive”, Mayor Tory said that Meghan Murphy should not be given a platform in any premises of the City of Toronto. The Toronto Star reported,

“Mayor John Tory meanwhile, a former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, has voiced his disappointment with the library’s position, saying officials should use the “highest of standards” to ensure that public buildings not become a place where “offensive commentary” is permitted.”

John Tory’s position in Meghan Murphy’s case stands in stark contradiction to his stance regarding Wael Shehab, the head Imam of Toronto Masjid Mosque who is known for his anti LGBT statements.

Tory stated he visited Wael Shehab’s mosque “many times” and on May 7, 2019 he hosted an Iftar dinner (breaking the fast of Ramadan) in the Council Chambers with the attendance of Imam Wael Shehab.

Imam Wael Shehab wrote,

Homosexuality is a sinful act in Islamwe should not associate with them and should not take them as friendsIn Islam, changing one’s sex is not permissible if the person (male or female) has ‎complete male or female sex organs… Given the above, it’s my advice for him to return back to his original sex and go through professional counseling and treatment to lead normal happy life.”

On 10 May 2012 Wael Shihab issued an Islamic ruling (fatwa) titled “Same-Sex Marriage and Objectives of Shari`ah”. Shihab’s Islamic ruling reads in part:

“Like all the world’s major religions and traditions, Islam has a clear stand on this issue, as it emphatically forbids homosexuality and lesbianism and regards them as a violation of the commands of Allah. It states clearly that same-sex marriage poses a serious and dangerous threat to human societies and communities… So it’s clear that the Islamic concept of marriage is totally different from “gay or lesbian” styles of marital relationshipsSame-sex marriage endangers true faithful family atmosphere where children should be soundly and morally raised. Gay and lesbian marital relationships lack social acceptance and impose serious dangers to the family institution. Same-sex marriage, moreover, threatens the existence of human species. Such relationships could not build human communities or secure the existence of humans… same-sex marriage imposes serious social dangers that destroy the basic foundations of families, societies, and human communitiesSame-sex marriage, on the other hand, imposes serious dangers to the family institution, lacks social support, endangers the real lovely family life, and breaks the social order of the human community.”