The State | 04.2016


(NO) Thank You For Your Service  

Trans army vet denied haircut after barber claimed religious objection.


A barber has denied a trans man service after he claimed his religion prevents him from cutting women’s hair, reports Gay Star News.

Kendall Oliver, who served for six years in Afghanistan, booked an appointment at Southern California’s The Barbershop in Rancho Cucamonga.

He said that when he went in for his appointment, they told him that they wouldn’t cut his hair.

When Oliver explained he was not a woman, he identified as a male, they still refused.

“It doesn’t matter ma’am, we still won’t cut a woman’s hair,” Oliver claims they said, calling the treatment “‘hurtful” and “embarrassing.”

Speaking to NBC7, owner Richard Hernandez said he belongs to the Church of God and that his beliefs stop him from cutting a woman’s hair, even if they identify as a man.

“People go against what God has created, you start getting everything all out of whack,” he said. “It’s a shame for a man to have long hair, but if a woman has long hair, it’s her glory and it speaks to being given to her as her covering, and I don’t want to be one who is taking away from her glory.”

While Hernandez’s church in Upland did not return calls, the Church of God in Garden Grove said there was no doctrine that does not allow a man to cut a woman’s hair in their church.

In California, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Oliver is suing The Barbershop for discrimination.