XENIA, Ohio (WKEF) — A transgender woman is facing three counts of public indecency after using the her local YMCA’s locker room. The YMCA of Greater Dayton in Xenia has received several complaints since allowing members to use restrooms that aligns with their gender identity.
On January 24, 2023, Will Urschel, the Xenia City Council President updated citizens on the situation, and cautioned them about the YMCA.
"So, I encourage you with your families to just let people be aware of what’s going on with the restroom there,” said Urschel.
In November, a mother of two reported to the Xenia Police Department that there was a transgender woman using the women’s locker room. In the report, the mother said that Rachel Glines was quote, “Completely exposed to the rest of the locker room area.”
That mother was told by the YMCA management that they couldn't tell the woman that she could not use the locker room.
This brought an outcry in the community, and Glines supporters say the city shouldn’t take sides.
“Nobody knows what really happened in this case, and what the reality is. We do know it has increased hate and increased discrimination, and suppressed love and care and acceptance,” said Karen Shirk, President of PFLAG Dayton.
Glines is being supported by PFLAG Dayton, a local organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community in our area.
She faces three counts of public indecency, and the LGBTQ+ community shares that they don’t understand why.
However, legal experts told WKEF that this is a unique case.
It's going to be difficult to convict this person of public indecency,” said Thaddeus Hoffmeister, Professor of Law at the University of Dayton. “My understanding is that the YMCA granted this person permission.
Hoffmeister says that no law was broken.
They identify as a woman, they went into the women's bathroom. YMCA says transgender individuals could go to the bathroom they identify in. I don't see them breaking the law,” said Hoffmeister.
He clarifies unlike other states, Ohio does not have a law requiring you to use a restroom that matches to your birth gender.
“Some states have gone so far as to say, you must use the bathroom or locker room that is for your birth and what gender you were recognized at birth. Now that's different, if a state passes that law. Ohio hasn't passed that law," said Hoffmeister.
The City of Xenia provided WKEF a comment on the matter through a statement: “The decision to file charges was based on the facts presented to the law department by the Xenia Police Division and the language of state statute. Despite what has been reported, the law department has no plan or intention of bringing charges against.
However, PFLAG Dayton hopes for the reunion of the Xenia community.
"I love Xenia because in all of the times I've been there, Xenia’s been a community that supports one another. Even this person they're talking about has families, has friends, that live in our community," said Shirk.
WKEF has reached out to the YMCA for comment.
The court hearing is scheduled for Monday, February 6, in Xenia.