All-Gender Multi-User Restrooms Spreading On Campuses
lly McBeal Model Copied at GWU, Yale, MIT, American, U MD, U OK, Others
Banzhaf, who has been dubbed the "Father of Potty Parity," has won over 100 law suits against sex discrimination, pressured the U.S. House of Representatives into constructing a restroom adjacent to the House floor for female legislators, and played a major role in establishing what appears to be the first multi-user all-gender restroom at a U.S. university.
The traditional approach to not forcing transgender students to use toilet facilities inconsistent with the gender identity is to provide single-user restrooms. In some cases they can be made available inexpensively simply by removing signs on the doors of existing single-user toilet facilities.
But this approach often does not establish enough readily available facilities for all transgender students.
However, constructing new single-user restrooms is often very expensive and/or difficult.
But no matter how many additional single-user restrooms can be made available, they represent a very inefficient response to the limited needs of only a very small group of students, suggests Banzhaf.
A much better and more efficient method, and the one he helped pioneer at the George Washington University [GWU] Law School, is to take existing multi-user male restrooms and turn them into multi-user all-gender restrooms simply by changing the sign at the entrance.
Yale Law School recently followed GWU's lead after overcoming some legal problems related to building codes. Now, as Law.com is reporting, "Law Schools Are the Latest Battleground for Gender-Neutral Bathrooms," with efforts underway to follow the lead at Seattle University School of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School, it reports.
Perhaps it's natural for law schools to be leading the way, argues Banzhaf, since their students may be more sensitive to the need to protect the rights of various minorities, including LGBTQ students, and because law school students are more mature than undergraduates, and therefore less likely to misbehave when different genders share the same restroom facilities.
Today the movements towards multi-user all-gender restrooms - whether originally constructed as such, or simply former male restrooms transformed with new more inclusive signs - is spreading well beyond law schools, with experiments now in place in at least the following: MIT, American University, University of Maryland, University of Oklahoma, and Sarah Lawrence.