The plight of a California barber could demonstrate whether a person's religious beliefs are going to be tolerated in the state.
Kendall Oliver is a woman who lives as a man, a condition referred to in the field of psychology as gender dysphoria. She walked into a men's-only barber shop in Southern California seeking a men's haircut but the Christian owner refused.
Lamda Legal has filed a complaint.
Pacific Justice Institute founder Brad Dacus says the barber has sincere religious beliefs.
"And those beliefs and convictions should be accommodated and respected," he says, "not trounced upon by those who do not want to exhibit religious tolerance towards his beliefs."
Lambda Legal filed a complaint with California's Human Rights Commission.
If the Commission finds owners guilty of discrimination, heavy fines could be levied, says Dacus. But it would also make the situation ripe for a lawsuit to force the commission to abide by the Constitution.
"The state of California has been notorious in recent years in attempting to force people in business to have to change their faith or violate their faith in order to keep their jobs," says the PJI attorney. "This is just another classic example of such growing religious intolerance."