Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Transgender Equality Update

The Fenway Institute & the Center for American Progress have released a policy brief that examines controversial state & local legislation that would prevent transgender people from using gendered public facilities, such as restrooms or locker rooms, that align with their gender identity. The brief debunks myths about safety concerns regarding the use of these spaces by people who are transgender & describes the many negative outcomes that these discriminatory bills could cause. It also calls on states to pass laws that protect the rights of all Americans to access public accommodations regardless of gender identity. Tim Wang, LGBT Health Policy Analyst at the Fenway Institute & lead author of the report states, “A Texas bill would make it a felony for transgender people to use public restrooms consistent with their gender identity & would place responsibility for enforcement with those who operate the public restroom. Preventing people who are transgender from accessing public restrooms consistent with their gender identity could promote abuse & discrimination.” Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress added, “Denying transgender people access to facilities that are necessary for all of us to go about our daily lives, like restrooms, contributes to minority stress & can exacerbate negative health outcomes already affecting transgender people. These efforts significantly limit the ability of transgender people to fully & equally participate in civic and public life.”
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