Freeman v. Denny’s
GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project and Realty Resources Hospitality, which operates six Denny’s restaurants throughout Maine, are pleased to announce an agreement resolving a lawsuit brought by Brianna Freeman, a transgender woman who was denied access to the women’s restroom at a Denny’s in Auburn, Maine.
In the settlement agreement, Realty Resources Hospitality agreed that at all of the restaurants it operates, all transgender individuals, including Ms. Freeman, will be given access to the restroom consistent with their stated gender identity.
GLAD filed suit October 20, 2009, on behalf of Brianna Freeman, a transgender woman who was told by the manager of a local Denny’s that she could not use the women’s restroom. Denny’s moved to dismiss the case, arguing that it could apply a so-called biological rule to keep transgender women from using the gender appropriate restroom.
In its May 27, 2010 ruling, Androscoggin Superior Court denied Denny’s motion to dismiss Brianna’s gender identity claim. The Court’s critical, first-of-its-kind ruling affirmed that Maine’s law protecting transgender persons from discrimination includes ensuring appropriate access to restrooms. This was an important first step in guaranteeing that transgender people have full protections under Maine law.
On February 22, 2011 GLAD argued for summary judgment in the case, seeking a final order allowing Brianna – and other transgender Maine residents – fair and equal access to the appropriate restroom.