PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia city council member wants to require new or renovated city-owned buildings to have gender-neutral restrooms in addition to men’s and women’s restrooms.
“It can be an awkward and embarrassing situation” for anyone who may “feel more like a woman, but can’t use the women’s room,” Kenney said. “These functions should be fair for everybody.”
Speakers at a recent committee hearing on the bill said transgendered youth faced discrimination in bathroom access.
“We’re talking about people who want to be respected, who want their personal identification to be respected and just want to blend in,” said state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Legislature, who had a role in shaping the measure.
The bill would also make online city websites and forms gender-neutral and establish transgender health benefits for city employees to cover psychotherapy, hormone treatments, laser hair removal and gender confirmation surgery.
“Life is hard for everybody and certain obstacles the government puts in the way intentionally or unintentionally make life harder for some more than others,” Kenney said, “and all we’re trying to do is streamline that down.”
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