The American Family Association has responded to the media firestorm that erupted after Planet Fitness revoked the membership of a woman who "inappropriately" responded to the presence of a transgender woman in the locker room.
The AFA released an email "action alert" in response to the news, slamming Planet Fitness for "catering to the wishes of the transgender lobby" and calling on supporters to contact the gym chain about the policy that makes Yvette Cormier (the customer that made the initial complaint) "and other women feel uncomfortable and unsafe."
"Planet Fitness is making the needs of its female members subservient to the sexual identification of transgender individuals," AFA President Tim Wildmon said in the alert, the text of which can be found here. "Unfortunately, Planet Fitness’ 'all-inclusive' environment and 'judgement-free zone' is leaving a large portion of its membership out in the cold."
Arguing that it was "irresponsible of the corporation to knowingly expose girls this young to men who identify as women, or boys this young to women who identify as men,” Wildmon added, "We urge Planet Fitness to put the well-being of their members, particularly their youngest members, first and to reverse this policy.”
The controversy began earlier this month when Cormier complained to a front desk employee at a Planet Fitness outlet in Midland, Michigan, after she saw a transgender woman in the women's locker room, ABC News reported. Once the employee responded by telling her it was company policy to allow gym members to choose the locker room that best corresponds with their gender identity, Cormier decided to tell "everyone in the locker room what happened."
McCall Gosselin, director of public relations at Planet Fitness Corporate, told The Huffington Post in an statement that Planet Fitness's "gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."
Gosselin added that Cormer's membership was revoked because she had been "inappropriate and disruptive to other members."
Although Planet Fitness's response has earned praise from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups, the AFA is not the first conservative voice to have expressed its disapproval.
In a blog post, the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council said Planet Fitness had "excised itself from the constellation of sanity and now exists in alternative realm where all things are malleable," and urged customers to "launch to other facilities and land safely at other gyms."