Proposed Regulation Grants Vital Protections for Transgender People in Federal Facilities

Sarah McBride

This week, a new regulation will be submitted to the Federal Register ensuring that transgender people can access restrooms consistent with their gender identity in many federal offices, buildings and facilities. The draft regulation applies to transgender individuals working in or visiting thousands of locations across the country under the jurisdiction of the U.S. General Services Administration.

“Every person should be able to access government programs, facilities, and services without fear of discrimination,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown, who is openly transgender. “This regulation builds off of years of precedent and provides a vital layer of protection for transgender people seeking to fully and equally participate in public life. If transgender people cannot access restrooms consistent with who they are in government buildings, it becomes much harder for us to serve on juries, go to a VA hospital for care, or submit necessary documentation at a Social Security office.”

Roughly 1 million federal employees work in facilities affected by the new regulation, including federal courthouses and Social Security offices. The rule reflects precedent established by a growing number of courts, several federal departments, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the enforcement agency for federal workplace nondiscrimination protections.

Earlier this year, HRC praised similar guidance and regulations implemented by the federal government, including the Department of Education’s guidance on fair treatment of transgender students. Recent polling of Millennials showed overwhelming support among America’s youngest voting bloc for transgender people’s ability to access restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.

To read more about HRC’s work on transgender equality, visit hrc.org/transgender.


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