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Restroom Safety and Privacy

When we talk about protecting LGBT people from discrimination in public places, like hotels, restaurants and libraries, questions about safety and privacy in restrooms and locker rooms come up. There are a lot of myths about what non-discrimination protections would mean for restroom and locker room access. Here’s what the bill really does.

Won’t transgender people make other people uncomfortable in restrooms and locker rooms?

False. Transgender people use restrooms and locker rooms for the same reasons everyone does. And when they do, they value safety, privacy, and modesty just like everyone else. Transgender people are part of our workplaces and our communities, and they need to be able to use the restroom just like everyone else.

Can non-discrimination protections be used as cover for misconduct in restrooms and locker rooms?

That’s false. There are 23 states and more than 70 municipalities in Pennsylvania with laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination. They have reported no problems. Gyms with policies protecting transgender people from discrimination also report no problems — including Planet Fitness, which has more than 95 franchises in Pennsylvania. Nothing in this law weakens existing laws against illegal behavior. Assault and harassment remain illegal.

In fact, more than 250 organizations around the country that do work to prevent and treat survivors of violence support laws that protect transgender people in restrooms and locker rooms. These include The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, The National Center for Victims of Crime, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and more.

Won’t this law force businesses to spend money to remodel their restrooms to be gender neutral or to add restrooms or locker rooms?

Businesses will not have to spend a penny on remodeling or new construction. This bill would simply guarantee customers safe access to existing facilities that match the gender they are every day.

© Pennsylvania Youth Congress 2024