Rosauers denies transgender woman public accommodations

LEWISTON, ID - The argument, of which bathroom a transgendered individual should use, has been brought out into the open recently due to a legislator in Arizona.

While it's not a new topic of discussion, it's a concern that's becoming more prevalent even here in the LC Valley.

Twenty-five-year-old Ally Robledo, who used to be know as Alberto Robledo, identifies as a transgender woman and claims wrongful denial of access to a local supermarket.

Republican Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh has garnered national attention after proposing a bill that would penalize people for using a bathroom that doesn't match the gender identity on their ID. While Kavanagh tackles the issue in Arizona, many other states including Idaho, are left wondering what to do about the sensitive situation.

"When I did use the male's (restroom) there would be people that would harass me in school," said Robledo. "I would feel really embarrassed and there were times when I found myself in a lot of dangerous situations."

Robledo was given a no trespass order Monday night shortly after exiting the Rosauer's grocery store location in Lewiston.

"A male subject who was using the female restroom, and that made some women customers uncomfortable because of the appearance that a male was using their restroom," said Lewiston Police Captain Roger Lanier.

"I really doubt that would be more socially acceptable than someone using the men's restroom," said Robledo.

Lanier told KLEW News that employees confronted Robledo, who explained she identifies herself as a transgendered woman who has gone through one phase of reconstructive surgery.

"The store employees didn't want any further problems, and they chose to exercise their right to trespass this individual from the business," said Lanier. "Anyone who owns or controls their property can make that decision."

"I think calling the police is not really sufficient and I think it's a waste of our tax payers' dollars," said Robledo.

According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, 13 states including Washington protect transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations, but the exact definition of a "public accommodation" differs from state to state. There is currently no federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity for public accommodations.

The manager on duty Wednesday afternoon at Rosauer's chose not to comment. KLEW news attempted to get an official comment from the corporate offices of Rosauers, however our calls have not been returned over the period of two days.