Mayor de Blasio just signed a controversial order that allows transgender and gender non-conformist individuals to use the single-sex bathroom that is appropriate for their gender identity, in regards to city-owned facilities.
This will affect city agency offices, public parks, pools, playgrounds, some museums, and recreation centers, according to Metro.
This is a major win for the transgender community, as they will no longer be asked to show identification, medical documents, or evidence of their gender when they attempt to use a single-sex facility.
"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," de Blasio stated following the order.
"Access to bathroom and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to anyone."
He goes on to state, "New York City is proud to enforce one of the strongest human rights laws in the country, which protect the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to live freely and with respect."
Though this new order is only applicable to city-owned facilities, the NYC Commission on Human Rights stated that an employer, housing provider, or public accommodation could be prosecuted for refusing access to a bathroom based on gender identity.
Opponents of this new order state that it infringes on others' rights to privacy, going so far as to question what will stop predators and others from abusing this attempt to protect transgender rights.
People from other states have even chimed in on this latest order.
Joseph Backholm, an executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, chimed in stating to The Washington Times, "[everyone] else in the state of New York or the City of New York or whatever state we're in, they all have legal rights to privacy that are real."
"And the problem is governments choosing one person's rights over everybody else, rather than recognizing that everybody has an interest here, and we need to behave like adults and make sure that nobody gets to say my rights trump your rights because I say so."
A woman named Talia from Texas stated on Yelp, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle, "So if anyone 'feels' like a woman, they can use the women's restroom, even if they are dressed like men? THAT would freak me out if a random dude came into the bathroom."
We can understand the issues from both sides, but we applaud the Mayor's actions in giving transgender and gender non-conformists access to bathrooms based on their gender identity.[via Metro]