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Update, 5:41 p.m.: Spa World’s manager says that it welcomes LGBT customers and will not kick out trans visitors in the future.
This week’s Washington City Paper cover story on 24 hours inside Spa World might have you yearning for a trip to the Centreville business, but if you’re gay or transgender, you’re out of luck. That’s because Spa World won’t admit LGBT customers, the Fairfax Times reports.
The policy became obvious after Spa World ejected a transgender woman, according to the Times. After the woman filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, Spa World responded that it was simply enforcing its policy.
“It is our policy to not accept any kinds of abnormal sexual oriented customers to our facility such as homosexuals, or transgender(s),” Spa World’s Sang Lee wrote to the Better Business Bureau, according to the Times.
Spa World doesn’t allow LGBT people out of concern for the “safety and comfort of young children,” according to Spa World’s response. “Despite the controversial issue of homosexuality and transgender, it is our policy to not accept them,” Lee writes, according to the Times.
Spa World hasn’t responded to a request for comment from City Desk.
UPDATE, 3:38 p.m.: SignOn.org has a petition asking Spa World to allow LGBT customers.
UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: A Spa World employee who answered the phone just now wouldn’t give a name, but said this: “We have been told to say, ‘The Fairfax Times story is inaccurate. We do not discriminate against people, we discriminate against behavior.'” It’s not entirely clear what that means. Manager James Lee is expected to be on duty in a few hours, and City Desk will update if we hear back from him.
Spa photo by Shutterstock
Sadie Dingfelder contributed to this report.