Last year the HRO passed LGBT rights in Jacksonville. Last month I was invited to the Women’s Center’s Open Door celebration and given a personal tour of the facilities by one of the board members, who pointed out to me that they were supportive and all-inclusive of both LGBTQIA men and women despite the gendered bathrooms. She showed me two identical single-stall restrooms. One was for men, and the other was for women. To meet the city’s code, the single-stall New Human Rights Ordinance bathrooms could not be gender-neutral. It seemed odd, given the fact that the HRO had passed. I took note to think about this at a later time. This afternoon, I went and reviewed the ordinances online, which, by the way, was an incredibly tedious process. Some businesses, including one I visited in downtown Jacksonville, Chamblin Bookmine, have gender-neutral single-stall bathrooms. I decided to search the web instead. I came across this article.
“The law does not have any new requirements regarding bathroom usage.”
New Human Rights Ordinance
“Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a set of guidelines regarding bathroom access for transgender workers. The guidelines recommend providing better access to options for transgender individuals with gender-neutral facilities.”
Gender Neutral Signs
I’m not sure why the Women’s Center could not have single-stall restrooms, but maybe this is one of those situations where the inspector was misinformed. I don’t know, but it all seems ridiculous to me. Can you imagine if we were required to have gendered single-stall bathrooms at home? What about the campgrounds or art market? We seem to accept these gender-neutral bathrooms just fine, but we can’t or won’t allow the ones inside a building.
This article was updated on June 5, 2023