nyc's new restroom regulation is a big win for transgender rights

Amid a nationwide debate on LGBT discrimination, mayor Bill de Blasio puts New York City on the right side of history.

by Hannah Ongley
08 March 2016, 9:35pm

The ability to use restroom facilities that align with one's gender identity isn't just a seemingly basic matter of civil rights — it's an issue of physical safety. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has recognized both these facets of the issue in a new regulation that grants people access to public facilities that correspond with their gender identity, reports CBS New York.

"Access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to any individual," de Blasio said at a press conference in Chelsea on Monday. "Every New Yorker should feel safe in our city — and this starts with our city's buildings."

The new mandate will give the city's approximately 25,000 transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals access to single-sex facilities at all city-owned buildings. This includes offices, public parks, pools, recreation centers, and certain museums. Public schools have already been required to grant people this type of access. 

Other areas of the country have not been so progressive in their stance on rights. Just last week South Dakota's governor vetoed a bill that would have required transgender students to use facilities that matched the gender they were assigned at birth. Now officials are trying to pass an equally oppressive and dangerous regulation in Tennessee. Stressing NYC's history of not being so backwards when it comes to LGBT liberties, de Blasio said, "New York City is the birthplace of the fight for LGBT rights, and we continue to lead in that fight so every New Yorker can live with dignity."


Text Hannah Ongley

bill deblasio
Civil Rights