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 Policy Order Resolution
  O-8
  IN CITY COUNCIL
  January 10, 2011
COUNCILLOR SIMMONS
COUNCILLOR SEIDEL
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG
COUNCILLOR KELLEY
VICE MAYOR DAVIS
MAYOR MAHER
COUNCILLOR REEVES

WHEREAS:

A lack of gender-neutral restrooms is one of the biggest threats that transgender individuals face.  Harassment and violence occur often in gender specific bathrooms.  A recent survey found that 99% of 500 transgendered and non-transgendered respondents preferred gender neutral bathrooms.  Another survey of only transgendered individuals found half had experienced harassment or assault when using gendered bathrooms; and

    
WHEREAS: Non-transgendered individuals also face difficulties with bathrooms.  Disabled individuals have difficulty finding bathrooms that are accessible, or those with family or individuals helping them often cannot accompany them into gender specific multi-stalled bathrooms.  Parents with opposite sex children often encounter issues with access to gender specific multi-stalled bathrooms; and
    
WHEREAS:

Institutions of higher education appear to be leading the way in implementing gender-neutral bathrooms, with demands being raised by their student bodies.  Large companies also tend to offer at least one non-gendered or single-user bathroom; and 

    
WHEREAS:

Transgender rights legislation will undoubtedly pass in Massachusetts and Cambridge has historically lead the state and nation in designing and implementing solutions that foster inclusion, dignity, and quality of life for all; and 

 
WHEREAS: Consideration of policies that potentially require a period of time by which all city buildings, licensed establishments providing food and/or alcohol, and public-use buildings are required to have a gender-neutral single- or multi-user bathroom would benefit families, elderly, disabled, transgender individuals, and the community at large; and 
    

WHEREAS:

Legal support, research, and strategies for implementation of a city-wide policy is available through GLAD http://www.transgenderlaw.org; now therefore be it 
     

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to appoint appropriate city staff, including the City Solicitor, to work with the Cambridge GLBT Commission to create a city-wide ordinance on gender-neutral bathrooms.

    

COUNCILLOR TOOMEY RECORDED AS VOTING PRESENT ON THIS MATTER
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