U.S. Official Sues RV Park in Transgender Case
On behalf of the federal government, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit against a Texas recreational vehicle park for alleged discrimination against a transgender woman.
According to a report by the Houston Chronicle, the suit was filed Oct. 3 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, against George Toone and In Toone Services.
The woman, Roxanne Joganik, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in June 2012, alleging that Toone discriminated against her on the basis of sex, violating the federal Fair Housing Act. She later added Toone’s company, In Toone Services, to the complaint.
According to the government’s lawsuit, In Toone Services, based in Abilene, owns Texas RV Park, a 43-site facility in Athens, Texas.
Joganik and her roommate moved into the park on a month-to-month lease in April 2011, before Toone owned it.
In Toone Services took control in May 2012, five days after Joganik had paid rent through June 2012, the complaint stated.
Joganik told Toone she is transgender and asked him if she could wear female clothing in the park’s common areas. Toone said no because “there are children around the pool,” so she refrained, according to the government’s complaint.
About a week later, Toone distributed new copies of park rules, requiring residents to sign the rules and service agreements.
The rules said management reserved the right to refuse entrance to anyone for any reason other than “race, religion, handicapped, color or national origin.” The rule did not include sex or famililial status, which are protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, the complaint stated.
Joganik refused to sign the rules because they didn’t include sex among the protected classes, documents state.
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