As state legislatures across the country consider harmful bills targeting transgender people and restricting our ability to use public bathrooms, New York City is showing how local governments can take action to support transgender community members.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order this week requiring city agencies to ensure everyone can access public single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity. This policy is backed up with a requirement for city agencies to train managers, post the new policy in places where the public is likely to see it, and requires a progress report on the success of the order.
In signing the executive order, Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Every New Yorker should feel safe and welcome in our city – and this starts with our City buildings. Access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to anyone. 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.”
New York isn’t the only locality taking action, though it is the only city to issue an executive order of this kind. Earlier this year, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos also introduced new rules around bathroom access, requiring that all single-stall restrooms be designated all-gender. California is now considering legislation that would apply that rule statewide.
Great work, New York!