August 16, 2016 at 8:16 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Directive to require trans bathroom access in federal buildings

The Obama administration will announce this week that transgender people must be able to access bathrooms in federal facilities based on their gender identity. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Obama administration will announce this week that transgender people must be able to access bathrooms in federal facilities based on their gender identity. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Obama administration will announce federal facilities must allow transgender people to access restrooms that consistent with their gender identity.

BuzzFeed on Monday reported the new regulation — which would apply to more than 9,000 properties that the General Services Administration operates — will appear in the Federal Register this week.

“We wanted to make clear that a person can use facilities that match their gender identity, and we think that’s a good thing,” Ashley Nash-Hahn, a spokesperson for the General Services Administration, told BuzzFeed.

The new regulation is the latest in a series of pro-trans policy positions the Obama administration has taken.

The Justice Department in May filed a civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina over House Bill 2, which bans trans people from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity and prohibits local municipalities from enacting LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination measures.

The Obama administration last October filed a brief in support of Gavin Grimm, a trans student who filed a lawsuit against his Virginia school district’s controversial policy that bans him from using the boys restroom or locker room. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2012 ruled that discrimination against employees on the basis of their gender identity amounts to sex discrimination under federal law.

Thirteen states have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its guidance that federal law requires public schools to allow trans students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. A federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, held a hearing in the case on Aug. 12.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • Broncos East

    My only problem with this is, it is an Executive Order and can be undone with the stroke of a pen by a future administration.

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