Gender neutral restroom legislationis takingcenter stage in Seattle, Washingtonand North Carolina.Seattle'sSMC 14.07 creates "all-gender restrooms" for single occupant facilities based on gender identity rather than birth sex. The problem is that Seattledoesn't know how toenforce this new rule and some unscrupulous people are taking advantage of loopholes in the ordinance, highlighting problems in North Carolina'sHB 2.

A Grand Canyon-sized loophole

In a recent debate on "The Young Turks,"the hosts and panelists said that HB 2 was poorly written and in their opinion, wrong. The law does the opposite of SMC 14.07 and designates restroom assignments based on birth gender.

First, the hostsnoted thatrestrooms would have to be policed by what they termed, "the potty patrol." Secondly, how would officers check a person's biological gender without said person undressing themselves?

Would they have to carry around a birth certificate to prove their birth gender? When the show asked local North Carolina cops how this was going to be enforced, a Raleigh, NC Police Department spokesman said, "Our staff, particularly our attorney's office, is trying to figure out what it all means. We haven't mobilized our police force in any kind of different way. We're still digesting."

After some debate the panelist brought up yet another conundrum.

What if someone pretending to betransgenderedenters a woman's restroom, dressed like a woman, only to gain access to seeing women undress legally? Thepanelists attributed this theory to "homophobia." The problem is thatthis exact thing happened in February 2016inSeattle thanks to SMC 14.07.

A manundressed in a woman's bathroom at Evans Pool. When he was confronted by staff, the man defended himself by saying, "the law has changed and I have a right to be here." Technically, he was right.

The law was enacted in February 2016 and mostly pertains to single occupant stalls but allows transgendered individuals to utilize multi-stall restrooms. Only the single occupant stalls require city mandated signage. There is no specific code as to how to identify a person's gender identity but the city has charged the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) with the enforcement ofthe ordinance. The problem is that the SOCR only enforces improper signage violations. There is no team to enforce penalties for misrepresentation of gender. That is a huge problem.

The great debate and theslippery slope

The Seattle incident has presented a host of concerns for females. While SMC 14.07 was created to prevent the "harassment, humiliation, denial of access, and physical violence in public restrooms," it may be encouraging violence to females. If any man can undress in a woman's restroom, then the city is potentially exposing its female residents to voyeurs, perverts, rapists, murders, and potential kidnapperspretending to be trans.

In effect, by trying to protect one group,the city isrisking the safety of another.

Yet proponents of the law are boycotting North Carolina over the bill they call "anti-gay." Singer Bruce Springsteen just announced the cancellation of his scheduled April 10th concert in response to HB 2. He released a statement in regardsto the matter.

Still, the fact remains that Seattle has exposeda weakness in all of these gender neutral regulations. Someone is going to have to review the laws and enforce them in a way that is beneficial to all people.

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