Obama Guidelines on Transgender Youth Supports Equity -- NYC First Lady Says

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Chirlane McCray

[Education]

The new guidance from the Obama administration on transgender youth in schools reaffirms a basic human right.

No one, especially a child, should be denied a bathroom when she or he needs one. Growing up is already tough. No child should face humiliation and embarrassment because of their gender identity, especially during such a private moment.

In New York City, it is our policy that schools allow students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity so all students feel safe and welcome. As Honorary Chair of the Commission on Gender Equity, my hope is that every school in the nation will do the same.

Background: The New York City Human Rights law was amended in 2002 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing and public accommodations.

In December 2015, the NYC Commission on Human Rights released new legal enforcement guidance on gender identity and gender expression protections under the New York City Human Rights Law. The guidance clearly identifies individuals' rights under the law, including their right to access single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity and gender expression, among other rights.

Mayor de Blasio signed an Executive Order in March 2016 to reinforce and clarify the law for City agencies so that City employees know their rights and also know their obligations with respect to members of the public.

The Executive Order requires training for employees and posting of the policy for both employees and members of the public who use City facilities.

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