Woman denied access to Kelowna men's group loses human rights complaint | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Woman denied access to Kelowna men's group loses human rights complaint

FILE PHOTO - The office which houses the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is seen in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, March 27, 2023.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nono Shen

A woman denied admittance to a Kelowna men's group event took her claim of discrimination to the humans right tribunal and lost.

Renee Murakami took the men's group to the BC Human Rights Tribunal after she was denied access to the September 2019 event, which she called a "segregation event," according to a recently published, Sept. 19, decision.

The Samurai Brotherhood, a men's group meant to "elevate the consciousness of men" was hosting the event at the Okanagan Regional Library, the decision reads. Now called the "Arka Brotherhood," the non-profit suggested she join a co-ed event in December, but instead she took her complaint to the tribunal.

"Murakami’s complaint alleges that the Brotherhood and the individual respondents discriminated against her as a woman by holding an event exclusively for men. She alleges that the Library is also liable for this discrimination, because it made its space available for this purpose," the decision reads.

The tribunal, however, found that a non-profit can have preference for a "sub-group" if it is within the scope of its service. In this case, the Samurai Brotherhood was created as a men's group, so it was not unreasonable to exclude Murakami, according to the decision.

Its founder, Phil Mistleberger, said the brotherhood is meant to "assist men in developing their masculine qualities and becoming leaders in their lives and communities," according to the decision.

Muramaki's complaint, against both the men's group and the library, was dismissed.

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