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L.A. Aims To Expand Park Restroom Access To Transgender People

Restrooms at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys (Photo by Erin Xavier via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The introduction of transgender-friendly restrooms has been a pressing topic this year, and the City of Los Angeles wants you to know where it stands on the issue. In March, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the creation of a Transgender Advisory Council. And on Wednesday, City Council set forth a motion intended to amend an ordinance to allow park restroom access for transgender people.

The L.A. Times reports that if the plan works out, transgender people will be able to use whichever park restroom corresponds with the gender they identify as.

The action was proposed by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell and co-written by council members Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez. The intention is to target Los Angeles municipal code 63.44, which has a provision that says "No person over eight (8) years or age shall enter or use any restroom in a park designated for persons of the other sex." Wednesday's motion requested that the city attorney report back within 60 days with recommendations as to how City Council should amend the code.

Jeanne Min, chief of staff to O'Farrell, said that it's just the start of a broader initiative to grant restroom access to transgender people. "This is the beginning of the discussion," Min told LAist. "We're starting at parks, but that'll lead us into looking at other city facilities."

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Meanwhile, the national debate about restroom access continues to rage on. Today, the Highland Local School District in Ohio filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education, which has required the school district to allow one of its students to use the restroom that corresponds with her gender identity, reports The Columbus Dispatch. The district claims it is threatened with a loss of $1 million in annual federal funding if it does not comply with demands.

On Wednesday, a small bomb was set off in the women's restroom of a Target in Evanston, Illinois,reports WGNtv. Investigators are trying to determine if there’s a connection with the company's policy of letting transgender people decide which restroom to use.

O'Farrell's motion comes at a particularly fitting time, as June is LGBT Heritage Month. The L.A. Pride festival is set to hit West Hollywood this weekend. Check out our (very comprehensive) guide to make sure you're prepared for three days of reveling.

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