January 16, 2013

A plea was entered on Tuesday in the city’s first-ever gender-identity discrimination case.  Attorneys for Columbus Hospitality LLC, managers of the private downtown Capital Club, appeared in court. The company faced a charge of unlawful employment practices against 53-year-old Savanna DeLong, who is in the process of becoming a transsexual. DeLong, who worked as a massage therapist for the club, said that the club discriminated against her by not using her services. About two years ago, the then Joseph Scott Delong changed his name to Savanna, and let people know he was making the physical transition from a man to a woman. Savanna said she was let go by the club after she told them about her intentions. “That's all I was seeking, my day in court, and that the laws are followed,” said DeLong. As part of the no contest plea, the company admitted the facts in the case but not guilt. “We’ve done nothing wrong – (the plea) was a business decision,” said Columbus Hospitality Management President,  Charles Lagarce.