The Mayor Of NYC Just Made A Huge Move In Support Of Transgender People

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New York City just took a major step toward equality. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order yesterday requiring city agencies to make sure that employees and members of the public have access to single-sex bathroom facilities consistent with their gender identities. This means that anyone in a city-owned building will be able to use the right bathroom for them without hassle.

The regulation does not apply to private businesses, but it does extend to city offices, pools, and recreation centers. People will not need to show identification or any proof of gender.

“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 after signing the order. “Every New Yorker should feel safe in our city — and this starts with our city’s buildings.”

The new executive order comes amid a national debate on expanding access to facilities on the basis of gender identity. But many people are fighting progress. Last week, South Dakota's governor vetoed a bill that would have made it the first state in the nation to require transgender students to use bathrooms that match their sex at birth — transgender-rights advocates lauded the decision. Tennessee is now considering a similar bill.

For its part, New York has included gender identity in its human rights law since 2002, according to the New York Observer. And lawmakers see the new executive action as a step forward.

“Today, the executive order will make loud and clear that New York City is a city for us all: cisgender, transgender, non-binary,” said Carmelyn Malalis, chair and commissioner of the New York City Human Rights Commission.
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