Top Democrats back gender neutral bathrooms for Capitol


Top Democratic Reps introduce effort to include more gender-neutral bathrooms at the Capitol as Biden marks Pride month at the White House

  • Two top ranking Democrats are pushing for gender-neutral bathrooms
  • They want them in Capitol and surrounding House office buildings
  • Reps. Katherine Clark and Hakeem Jeffries argue the bathrooms will benefit members of transgender and disabled communities
  • There is only one single occupancy bathroom in all three House buildings 

Two top-ranking Democratic lawmakers are pushing to add more gender-neutral bathrooms in the Capitol.

Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Hakeem Jeffries of New York argue adding single occupancy restrooms wil benefit members of the transgender, gender nonconforming and disability communities. 

‘Implementing single-use restrooms will make a visible difference in the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, as well as other marginalized communities, including people with disabilities, older adults, and parents of small children,’ they write

There is one single-occupancy restroom in the Longworth House Office Building but none in the other two House office buildings. 

The lawmakers were showing their support to a request from staff for more such bathrooms and their letter came on the same day President Joe Biden held an event for Pride Month at the White House. 

‘Concern over the lack of appropriate facilities is shared by our staff and visitors who have relayed to us their stories and experiences, including Members of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association,’ the two Democratic lawmakers wrote to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the House Administration Committee, which oversees facilities on Capitol Hill. 

Clark is the assistant Speaker, and Jeffries is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, making them top-ranking members of their party.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York

Reps. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts (left) and Hakeem Jeffries of New York (right) argue adding single occupancy restrooms wil benefit members of the transgender, gender nonconforming and disability communities

Transgender bathrooms is an issue that has come under political fire.

Last month, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed into law a bill that requires students at public schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates. 

Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use ‘a single-occupancy restroom or changing room’ provided by the school.

Additionally last month, a federal judge struck down a Tennessee law that would have required businesses in the state to post warning notices on their public restrooms if they have policies allowing transgender patrons to use the facilities that match their gender identities. 

Transgender people have become political targets.

Conservative state lawmakers around the country have pushed more than 100 anti-trans bills this year, with a particular focus on transgender students. 

And Florida has become ground zero in the fight for LGBTQI rights.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure, the Parental Rights in Education bill, that critics have successfully labeled the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.

It certainly aims to limit LGBTQI discussion in schools and let’s parents sue schools over teaching they don’t like. 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden react to remarks by Javier Gomez, LGBTQ youth activist, during a Pride Month event in the East Room of the White House

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden react to remarks by Javier Gomez, LGBTQ youth activist, during a Pride Month event in the East Room of the White House

President Joe Biden signs an executive order at an event to celebrate Pride Month

President Joe Biden signs an executive order at an event to celebrate Pride Month

At the White House Pride event, Jill Biden, a teacher, called out states issuing such laws and said schools should be safe places for LGBTQI students.

‘We know that in places across the country, like Florida, Texas or Alabama, rights are under attack. And we know that in small towns and big cities, prejudice and discrimination still lurk. It shouldn’t take courage to be yourself. It shouldn’t take courage to go to school and walk down the halls as the person you know you are,’ the first lady said.  



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