A report indicates the Obama Administration has issued a new federal mandate that transgender men and women working for the federal government and visiting federal facilities must be able to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
BuzzFeed first reported that the guidelines were posted in the Federal Register this week.
General Services Administration spokesperson Ashley Nash-Hahn told BuzzFeed the new rule applies to approximately 9,200 facilities — from courthouses to Social Security offices. Federal parks, however, are exempt.
A bulletin issued by the GSA outlined how this guideline will be mandated nationwide:
“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.”
To the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the change is “of great significance.”
“This type of requirement can change the default for what life is like for those federal employees and people who enter federal buildings,” Chai Feldblum of the EEOC told BuzzFeed.
The guidelines come months after the administration sent letters to schools that receive public funding that they must accommodate transgender students by allowing them to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding with their gender presentation. More than 20 states are suing the federal government to challenge those directives.