A Rancho Cucamonga, California, barbershop called, um, The Barbershop has turned away a transgender male military vet. Its owner says that cutting “women’s” hair goes against his religious beliefs, an NBC TV news affiliate in Southern California reports.
When Kendal Oliver, who put in six years in Afghanistan, showed up there, the proprietor, Richard Hernandez, who says he belongs to the Church of God, told him that he didn’t take female customers for religious reasons.
“People go against what God has created, you start getting everything all out of whack,” Hernandez said. “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 says that when he told Hernandez that he identified as a man, Hernandez said, “It doesn’t matter, ma’am.”
“I don’t see how that should affect a business,” Oliver said. “I’m a customer here, you provide a service, and everyone is entitled to that service.”
Hernandez is going against both federal and California state law banning discrimination among private businesses on the basis of gender.
The NBC station said that Hernandez’s church did not return calls–but that another Church of God, in nearby Garden Grove, said there was no such church teaching saying that a man couldn’t cut a woman’s hair.
But then again…Oliver identifies as a man, so this whole point should be moot.