Just after Christmas, the Washington State Human Rights Commission adopted new policies allowing transgender individuals access to use public restrooms and locker rooms according to the gender they identify with.
It guarantees access to not only public restrooms, but affects public and private buildings, schools, restaurants and stores according to an individual’s gender identity.
The new policies apply to businesses with eight or more employees. They also dictate that schools should “allow students to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity” and in most cases, give transgender students “access to the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity” according to The Daily Signal.
The Seattle Times reported that these “regulations aren’t introducing a new right, but clarifying a 2006 state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
These policies allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom according to their gender identity, were proposed this past May and have now set off a heated debate among legislators in the state who are pushing bills to reverse the policies.
Transgender bathroom use rights has been a hot button issue for some time now. Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender student, filed a federal lawsuit in June of 2015 against Gloucester County Public Schools over its policy on restroom use.