Army Reservist Refused Service At Rancho Cucamonga Barber Shop Claims Gender Discrimination

RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA.com) — After reading rave reviews about a Rancho Cucamonga barbershop, Army reservist Kendall Oliver was excited to give the place a shot.

But to Oliver’s surprise, the barber shop wasn’t interested.

“When I got there, I was refused service for being a woman,” Oliver told CBS2’s Joy Benedict. “Honestly, I was very offended.”

Oliver is part of a growing movement within the LGBT community that doesn’t use gender identifiers or labels. Being refused service, Oliver said, was embarrassing.

“I didn’t really have words at the time,” Oliver said. “I kind of walked out.”

But Oliver later found a voice online and has found support from others who were disappointed by the business’ actions.

“They need to know that it is hurtful,” Oliver said.

Their criticism hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Richard Hernandez, owner of The Barbershop, responded by saying he did not intend to discriminate and was simply following his religious faith.

“It’s not our intention to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation or gender of anything like that,” he said. “The Bible teaches us that a woman’s hair is … her glory. I would not want to take away any glory from her.”

The American Civil Liberties Union told Benedict the barbershop must follow the same rules as a diner or coffee shop, meaning in California it’s illegal to discriminate based on gender, gender identity of gender expression.

But Hernandez said he believes he acted within his constitutional rights.

“I value the Constitution we have in this country and I hope it upholds for me as well as others,” he said.

 

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