Saturday, June 29, 2013

Johnson County Supervisors Approve Resolution on Public Restrooms and Transgender People

I have written a few times (here and here) about a trans woman who sued Johnson County, Iowa, over a situation where she had been denied access to a public bathroom at the Johnson County Courthouse by a now-retired deputy. Jodie Jones was followed into the public restroom and told to leave. When Jones pointed out that state law allowed her the right to use the restroom that conformed to her current gender, not specifically her birth gender. The deputy continued to deny Jones access to the restroom "regardless of what the law is." Jones sued and Johnson County's Board of Supervisors eventually settled out of court with her earlier this month.

As part of the settlement, Johnson County agreed to pay Jones $7,000 in damages. They also agreed to pass a resolution clarifying that public restrooms in county buildings are open to people based on their gender identity.

I learned today that the Board of Supervisors approved the following resolution earlier this week:
Resolution Setting Forth Johnson County's Policy Regarding Access to Public Restrooms Based on Gender Identity

Whereas, Iowa law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in regard to employment, housing, education, credit practices and public accommodations; and

Whereas, Iowa Code Section 216.2 (10) defines gender identity as "a gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth"; and

Whereas, Johnson County acknowledges that public restroom facilities located in Johnson County's buildings are public accommodations for the purposes of the protections provided by Iowa law; and

Whereas, persons should be allowed to access gender specific restroom facilities according to their gender identity regardless of whether the person's gender identity is different that their assigned sex at birth.

Therefore Be It Resolved that it is the policy of Johnson County that all persons should be permitted to access public restrooms located in Johnson County's buildings based on their gender identity regardless of whether that gender identity is different than a person's assigned sex at birth.
KCJJ reports that county deputies will be required to receive new training on civil rights matters as part of this plea agreement.

No comments: