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Canadian Tribunal Orders Trans Woman to Pay $6K to Local Salon Owners Who Wouldn't Wax Genitals

10-23-2019

A Brazilian immigrant to Canada who had been forced to shut down her home salon business after she refused to wax the male genitals of a transgender activist has won her case in front of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

Jessica Yaniv, formerly known as Jonathan Yaniv, is a biological male who identifies as a woman. 

On Tuesday, the tribunal ruled in favor of Marcia Da Silva and two other home salon owners in the case, writing "human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax." The decision further found that the complainant Jessica Yaniv "engaged in improper conduct," "filed complaints for improper purposes," and concluded Yaniv's testimony was "disingenuous and self-serving."

The tribunal also noted, Yaniv was "evasive and argumentative and contradicted herself" while giving evidence. 

The tribunal awarded Da Silva and two other women who filed a defense against Yaniv's complaint, $2,000 each. 

CBN News reported that Yaniv filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal last year after Da Silva refused to wax him. Yaniv argued that the mother of two discriminated against him on the basis of sex and was demanding financial restitution. 

Da Silva, who operated her business out of her own home, said she refused to serve Yaniv due to safety concerns and alleged harassment from him, not because he is transgender. 

Da Silva told the tribunal during a July hearing that the ordeal has forced her to shut down her business and it is no longer a source of income for her family. 

Yaniv made numerous public comments against the home salon owners who were also immigrants. At the hearings, Yaniv contended that the immigrants use their religion to discriminate against trans people because they refused to wax the male genitals of those who identify as women.

In total, Yaniv filed 15 complaints against various salon owners in the Vancouver area seeking as much as $15,000 in damages from each owner, according to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, (JCCF), a non-profit law firm.

Most of the women who were the target of Yaniv's complaints work out of their own home, are of immigrant background, and have small children with them in the house during the day.

"Ms. Yaniv deliberately sought to weaponize the tribunal for financial gain," tribunal member Devyn Cousineau wrote in the decision, according to CTV News in Vancouver, even accusing the complainant of "a pattern of filing human rights complaints … to punish certain ethnic groups which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people."

JCCF Attorney Jay Cameron told the television station one of his clients was so relieved by the decision that she broke down in tears. 

"It's more than an inconvenience to have a human rights complaint against you alleging publicly that you're some sort of transphobe," Cameron told CTV News. "That's a very serious allegation in today's culture and it's debilitating. It really altered their lives for the past year-and-a-half."

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