President Trump Is Wrong On Gender-neutral Restrooms

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Jumaane D. Williams and NY City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito presenting proclamation to Brooklyn Community Pride Center in June 2016.  Photo Credit: William Alatriste, NYC Council

The Trump Administration's reversal on gender neutral bathrooms ends federal protection for transgender students that require schools to allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identities.

The Trump Administration cited states' rights in determining whether transgender students should be allowed access to restrooms that match their gender identity.
When I was younger, I remember traveling in Europe and encountering unisex restrooms. At first I was taken aback, however in no time I realized it was no big deal at all. As a much older person reflecting on that experience, I realized that the construct of having solely gender-specific restrooms in places like the United States, were not based in anything related to health or safety.

The Obama Administration made the right decision in allowing individuals to use bathrooms that comport with their gender identities. When it comes to civil rights, states' rights arguments are very often notorious code for continued discrimination. Lifting this protection would expose transgender Americans to harassment.

This decision is just the latest in a series of attacks against Americans from the Trump Administration. Unfortunately, while the world is moving toward a more fair and open society, our country under Trump, is moving backward. I am confident that we will eventually overcome this dark time under Trump. In the meantime, we must organize and minimize the damage that will be done until we get there.

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, represents Brooklyn's 45th Council District in the New York City Council.

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