All she wanted was a haircut.
But when Faith McGregor walked into a Terminal Barber Shop during Bay and Dundas streets, she was repelled to hear from a owners that no coiffeur during a emporium would cut a woman’s hair given it goes opposite their eremite beliefs.
McGregor has given filed a censure about a Jun occurrence with a Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
The emporium wasn’t bustling that day, she says, and dual barbers were station during a behind of a store. “I asked, ‘Do we do a businessman’s cut?’ It’s a elementary haircut. They pronounced they do.”
After describing a cut, owners Omar Mahrouk stopped her. “He usually looked during me and said, ‘I can’t do that. We don’t cut women’s hair here.’”
McGregor says she was shocked. “I usually wanted a accurate same cut as they would give a man. Nothing different.” The 34-year-old dyke says she always gets her hair cut during a coiffeur shop, not a salon.
Mahrouk told her “it’s opposite his religion” to cut a woman’s hair, she says. Mahrouk and dual other barbers refused, all observant they rehearse Islam, that forbids them to reason bizarre women, she says.
For his part, Mahrouk admits that he denied McGregor service. “I can cut my wife’s hair, yet not a bizarre lady. For me this is not discrimination. we explained that we have zero opposite woman. This is my religion. She did not accept it.”
The Ontario Human Rights Code states that business owners can’t repudiate use formed on sex.
“The law is a law, yet this is my religion. But we am not cultured opposite anyone,” Mahrouk insists. “It is opposite my religion.”
On a surface, a Human Rights Code says Terminal Barber Shop appears to have discriminated opposite McGregor formed on her sex.
But it’s not that simple, says Pascale Demers, communications officer for a OHRC. This is a box of competing rights: a particular right of a chairman not to be discriminated opposite formed on their sex or gender and a right of a chairman to reason eremite beliefs.
“Generally speaking, services that are offering to a open should be done accessible to everybody though discrimination, formed on sex, passionate orientation, race, religion, disability,” Demers says. “Each side will move brazen a counterclaim that their rights trump a other.”
She says it’s a box that presents new turf for a OHRC. “We have been incompetent to find any cases like this. It’s unique. It will be looked during in an particular context, any with a possess singular set of evidence. The judiciary will make a preference formed on a set of contribution presented to them.”
No rights are absolute, Demers says, and there is no hierarchy of rights.
“We demeanour during cases individually,” she says. “We have to demeanour during ways both sides can be accommodated. But, absolutely, there will be instances where one side will be dissatisfied, yet they are claiming a right.”
If a OHRC finds that a coiffeur emporium disregarded McGregor’s rights, it could sequence a financial allotment or sequence a emporium to exercise a set of “public remedies,” such as grouping a emporium to offer services “in a approach that is deliberate non-discriminatory.” That might engage employing additional staff, for example, she says.
“It’s not a punitive routine per se; it’s about bringing a chairman behind to a place that is not discriminatory.”
If Mahrouk fails to comply, she says, a emporium “could keep confronting censure after complaint, and it could eventually get costly.”
Mahrouk says that if he is forced to offer women he will have to change his occupation.
His lawyer, David Kolinsky, says denying use on eremite drift is valid. Still, even though a sacrament factor, coiffeur shops have traditionally been group only.
“I know she wants a same form of haircut that would be supposing to a masculine patrons, yet it’s some-more difficult than that,” he says. “She wants a coiffeur emporium to be compelled to yield use to all women. That goes good above a ability set and training of these barbers.”
But McGregor says that’s not true. “I am not seeking that a emporium start servicing all women, regardless of a form of cut requested.”
If a lady asks for a use they already provide, they should not be incited away, she says.
“It seems they are fluctuating a range of my complaint,” she says. “My specific ask was for usually a accurate same cut they would yield to a masculine . . . We are no opposite from a neck up.”
“I would not design a emporium to start slicing a hair of my womanlike friends with prolonged hair, colours or perms.”
Sean Gibson, of a Ontario Barber Association (OBA), wrote a minute in counterclaim of Mahrouk explaining since a eminence between “barber” and “hairstylist” justifies Mahrouk’s taste opposite women.
Gibson says barbers should have a liberty to confirm given coiffeur shops have traditionally been male-only spaces.
“In certain countries, group usually use other group for eremite reasons. It’s not that they don’t wish to use women, yet given of their eremite beliefs they can usually cut a hair of other men,” he explains. “While that might seem archaic, it’s understood. The story goes behind to men-only bathhouses in ancient Greece. That’s where coiffeur shops started. They were usually places for men.”
Still, Gibson says Mahrouk did not intend to distinguish in a antagonistic or unpleasant way, yet “perception is everything.”
“He was incompetent to use her given of his eremite beliefs. So it’s a contention of what’s some-more important: obliterating his eremite beliefs or portion this immature lady? Denying his rights or denying her rights.”
“She can still get service, maybe not from this specific place, yet I’m certain one of the [OBA] members would be blissful to cut her hair,” he adds.