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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 4, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 10
Mayor Murray to issue executive order protecting Trans rights

Mandates training for City departments on all-gender accommodations law
Section One
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Mayor Murray to issue executive order protecting Trans rights

Mandates training for City departments on all-gender accommodations law

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced on March 3 that he will issue a new executive order to set down guidelines for City workers on the City's all-gender public accommodations ordinance.

The order, which will be signed next week, will mandate culturally responsive training for all front-line staff at City departments such as Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Seattle Center, and the Seattle Public Library.

The order will also direct the City's Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to develop procedures for staff that create safe and inclusive single-gender facilities.

'Seattle must remain a safe place for the transgender and gender-diverse community. I'm committed to taking every step we can to make our public facilities safe and welcoming for all,' the Mayor said in a statement.

'City staff will receive additional resources and trainings to ensure that members of our transgender and gender-diverse communities are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.' 'The City of Seattle has a long-standing commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of all people,' said OCR Director Patricia Lally.

'The Mayor's Executive Order serves as a reminder that the City is steadfast in this commitment. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights looks forward to working with the Mayor and our community partners to deliver training on the rights of transgender and gender-diverse people, and on creating an environment that is inclusive for everyone.'

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed Murray's proposal requiring all-gender facilities in public accommodations in August 2015. That measure requires that some single-stall restroom facilities in both City-controlled and privately operated public places be designated as all-gender facilities.

The legislation also reaffirms existing state laws allowing individuals to use restrooms appropriate to their chosen gender identity or expression.

The measure was a recommendation from the Mayor's LGBTQ Task Force and the City of Seattle's LGBTQ Commission.

'Transgender people are part of our workplaces, classrooms, neighborhoods, families, communities, and places of worship - and need to be able to use public facilities without fear of harassment or discrimination simply because of who they are,' said Kris Hermanns, executive director of the Pride Foundation.

'We are grateful for the leadership of Mayor Murray to affirm that our laws do not exclude transgender people.'

Murray's office said that the newly mandated trainings will be carried out 'in partnership with the Pride Foundation.'

'All of us, including transgender people, care about privacy and safety in public facilities. Transgender people have safely been using public facilities consistent with the gender they live as every day for the last ten years,' said Seth Kirby, vice chair of the Pride Foundation and executive director of the Oasis Youth Center.

'I look forward to educating our community about ways to ensure safety and privacy in public facilities for all, especially transgender individuals, because transgender people are 53% more likely to experience discrimination, harassment, and violence in places of public accommodation.'

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