Xenia seeking legal guidance over YMCA transgender locker room policy

In response to concerns raised by Xenia city officials after complaints from a patron, the YMCA of Greater Dayton says state laws require it to allow transgender individuals to use locker rooms, changing rooms and bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

This has prompted Xenia officials to reach out to Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes about seeking an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General about whether this applies to public restrooms in city buildings and parks as well.

“This is a concern also for other public accommodations at the county level, and for other municipalities as well too,” said Councilman Will Urschel at a recent council meeting.

The issue arose when Xenia pastor Van Holloway complained that his wife encountered “a man changing in the women’s locker room,” and raised concerns to YMCA administration and others across the community.

Holloway slammed the YMCA for giving in “to the woke agenda,” and disregarding “biblical principles,” asking the organization to reconsider allowing people to choose the locker room that align with their gender identity.

“We recognize that the YMCA has the right to operate their organization according to their own principles even if we disagree with them. Nevertheless, we are disappointed that this is their view given their heritage and the role they play in our community,” Holloway wrote. “Even more so, we are saddened by the fact that their policy which permits men into the women’s locker room has not been clearly communicated to their members.”

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In a statement to the Dayton Daily News, YMCA Director Dale Brunner said their facilities are places of public accommodation and must comply with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Ohio laws against discrimination.

“Given our strong record, our adherence to the law, our dedication to inclusiveness, and our environment designed to protect personal privacy for all, we will not alter our current policies,” Brunner wrote.

“Let it be known that, under no circumstances will we investigate an individual’s birth gender identity and then assign individuals to locker rooms. That would be counter to law, counter to respect for all people, and it is not who or what we are as an organization.”

Brunner also provided a copy of the posted locker room guidelines at the Xenia YMCA, which asks patrons to “Please remain properly covered while in public areas of the locker room.”