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Gov. Youngkin's Simple Transgender Remedy Is Easily Implemented

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How GWU Transformed a Men's Room Into a Multi-User All-Gender Restroom

WASHINGTON - s4story -- As more states pass laws requiring transgender students to use school restrooms based upon their anatomy, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has proposed a simple solution to their needs: gender-neutral bathrooms - notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf

Asked by a M2F transgender student, "Do you really think that the girls in my high school would feel comfortable sharing a restroom with me?", Youngkin replied that "We need gender-neutral bathrooms."

So simply adding 1 or 2 individual-user ("single-seater" [SS] like airplane lavatories) gender-neutral restrooms to schools which do not already have them should not be difficult or expensive.

Fewer than 1.5% of students 13-17 identify as transgender, having enough SS restrooms in a typical school should not be unreasonably expensive.

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Some LGBTQ advocates argue that transgender students should not be restricted to only 1 or 2 SS restrooms.

But this argument doesn't recognize that eliminating discrimination does not always require completely equal access.  For example notes Prof Banzhaf, students who use wheelchairs cannot expect, much less require, that every entrance to a school or other building have a ramp installed so they can use it to enter.

Rather, he notes, the ADA and other statutes require only a "reasonable accommodation" or a "reasonable modification"; i.e., only ramps at a few entrances so that these few students are not unreasonably inconvenienced, and not a wheelchair-accessible ramp at every entrance.

If it is too difficult or expensive to add 1 or 2 SS lavatories to a school, another answer - which provides even more alternatives to transgender students - is to do what Banzhaf persuaded his own law school to do; simply change the sign outside a typical multi-user men's rooms to read "All-Gender."  As ABC TV news explained:

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"A public restroom at George Washington University Law School is sparking up controversy. This is no ordinary restroom; the university has opened an 'all-gender' restroom that is open to every person, regardless of gender identification.  The restroom consists of three urinals and one stall, the urinals just inches away from the sink and stall.  'Now, both types of transgender students - male-to-female and female-to-male - will no longer have to choose between using the restroom assigned to their anatomical gender, or using the one of the other gender where other users are likely to become angry because of an apparent breach of their sexual privacy,' said John F. Banzhaf, professor of public interest law."

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf


Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Education

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