New York City has taken a step forward for providing the city's 25,000 transgender and gender non-conforming residents with safe, comfortable access to public restrooms. Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order mandating that municipal buildings provide access to restrooms that align with a person's gender identity, and that individuals using them should not face harassment or questioning. Failure to enforce the mandate could lead to prosecution under the city's Human Rights Law.
"Today’s order makes it clear that New York City fully supports the right of every New Yorker to use the single-sex facility consistent with their gender identity," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. "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."
The mandate would affect a wide swath of city-owned buildings, including those in parks, some museums, public pools, and recreation centers. Per the order, signage that makes the new policy clear must be installed within the next three months.
"New York City is proud to enforce one of the strongest human rights laws in the country, which protects the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to live freely and with respect," Mayor de Blasio said.