Friday, August 19, 2016

GSA Requires Rest Rooms In Federal Buildings To Be Open On Basis of Gender Identity

The General Services Administration yesterday published a Bulletin (full text) in the Federal Register requiring federal agencies occupying space in buildings controlled by the GSA to open restrooms to individuals on the basis of their gender identity. The Bulletin said in part:
a. Consistent with the interpretations issued by the EEOC, ED, DOJ, and OPM, the prohibition against sex discrimination ... also prohibits discrimination due to gender identity, which includes discrimination based on an individual's transgender status.
b. Federal agencies occupying space under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of GSA must allow individuals to use restroom facilities and related areas consistent with their gender identity.  ...[T]he self-identification of gender identity by any individual is sufficient to establish which restroom or other single-sex facilities should be used. ...[T]ransgender individuals do not have to be undergoing or have completed any medical procedure, nor can they be required to show proof of surgery to be treated in accordance with their gender identity and obtain access to the restroom corresponding with their gender identity. Further, Federal agencies may not restrict only transgender individuals to only use single-occupancy restrooms, such as family or accessible facilities open to all genders. However, Federal agencies may make individual-user options available to all individuals who voluntarily seek additional privacy.
Liberty Counsel issued a press release strongly criticizing the GSA's action.