Lawsuit over pool ban is planned

Lawyers say they’re suing city of Port Townsend, YMCA

PORT TOWNSEND — Lawyers for a Port Townsend woman banned from a pool say they’re moving forward with a lawsuit over a 2022 incident involving a confrontation with a transgender woman in the locker room.

Julie Jaman, 82, was banned from the Mountain View Pool in Port Townsend in July 2022 after she confronted a transgender employee about their presence in the women’s locker room. The incident gained international news and saw several contentious protests in downtown Port Townsend.

In March, the Virginia-based Center for American Liberty (CAL) sent a letter on Jaman’s behalf to the City of Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula YMCA which administers the pool seeking $350,000 in damages, an apology and reinstatement of pool privileges.

The letter had initially asked for a response by March 27, but that date was extended twice until May 13 to allow for YMCA representatives to review the case, according to Eric Sell, attorney for CAL.

“We heard from the YMCA’s attorney last night,” Sell said Tuesday in an email. “He indicated to us that the YMCA is not willing to settle at this point. We never heard from the City. We are preparing a lawsuit and will file soon.”

Both the city and the YMCA declined to comment.

CAL is alleging Jaman’s First and 14th Amendment rights were violated in the ban from the pool, and Sell previously said the lawsuit would likely be filed in federal court.

Jaman was permanently banned from the YMCA’s facilities on July 26, 2022, after she confronted a transgender YMCA employee about being in the women’s locker room. The employee, Clementine Adams, was escorting children in the summer camp to the restroom.

Adams was not wearing employee identification at the time.

Jaman was notified of her ban shortly after the incident.

The banning led to several demonstrations over transgender issues, including one protest in downtown Port Townsend that drew hundreds of people and saw small scuffles between protest groups. That incident similarly drew international attention and led to another demonstration in support of Jaman by a small group for far-right protesters.

Since the letter was sent in March, Jaman and CAL attorneys have been making appearances on national and international media to discuss the case, according to CAL’s website.

CAL is a nonprofit legal center founded in 2018 by Harmeet Dhillon, a California-based attorney and committeewoman with the Republican National Committee.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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