Atlanta mayor signs order to make 100 ‘all-gender’ city restrooms

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms makes remarks during a groundbreaking celebration for the Haven in South Atlanta apartment complex development in the South Atlanta community of Atlanta, Wednesday, June 9, 2021.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Caption
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms makes remarks during a groundbreaking celebration for the Haven in South Atlanta apartment complex development in the South Atlanta community of Atlanta, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

More than 100 publicly available single-user bathrooms in Atlanta are now required to be gender-inclusive —available to anyone regardless of gender — after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an administrative order into law Wednesday during Pride Month.

The “all-gender” restrooms will be available across city facilities, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the mayor’s office. A spokesman from the mayor’s office Friday said City Council does not have to vote to ratify Bottoms’ order.

Approximately 113 restrooms will be affected by this rule, according to a copy of the order obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The order also requires new restroom signage wherever it’s necessary by June 28, which is the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Bottoms’ order is the latest breakthrough in efforts to make public spaces safer for people who face discrimination based on gender identity. Last year, a federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled transgender high school students must have access to bathrooms matching their gender identity.

It remains to be seen if the mayor’s order will lead to an outright ban of gender-specific singe-use bathrooms. Those bans are already in place in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington and New York.

Bottoms in 2018 created Atlanta’s first-ever full-time LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator. The mayor last year promoted the coordinator, Malik Brown, as the city’s first-ever Director of LGBTQ Affairs.

The mayor also has an LGBTQ Advisory Board to help her in developing policies for Atlanta’s LGBTQ communities.

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