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Two days after the theater chain Evans Cinemas in Nashville was ordered to remove a policy that banned customers who identify as transgender from using the women’s bathroom, the theater owner says it is now considering litigation.
The decision by the state Board of Equalization to revoke the permit is not the end of the saga, said Chris Evans, president of Evans Cinemases.
Evans said that it’s possible the company will go to court to get the policy reinstated.
The company has more than 100 locations in Nashville, including one in the University District.
But Evans said it’s not clear how the state will determine whether to revoke a permit.
In the meantime, Evans said, he and other Evans employees have taken a step back.
Evans has a transgender friend who works in the office and has been a friend of his for more than two years, Evans told The Associated Press in an email.
The friend has a male-to-female transition, Evans added.
Evans called the decision “not surprising” and “nothing we’ve ever done before.”
The company says the decision was based on a review of the company’s policies and procedures.
The policy prohibits customers who are transgender from entering the women-only restroom or changing rooms at Evans cinemas.
But the company did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment.
Evans did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
The Evans company also said the decision by state officials was based solely on a “lack of understanding” of the nature of transgender people and their rights, not any discrimination.
Evans says the policy has led to a surge in calls from transgender people seeking to use the men’s restroom.
A recent poll by the non-partisan Tennessee Equality Project found a majority of Tennesseans believe that transgender people should be able to use facilities of their choosing.
The poll found 56 percent of respondents said they were either “very” or “somewhat” likely to support changing the state’s policy to allow transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms of their choice.