To further protect rights of bathroom seekers in NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an executive order requiring all city agencies to let people use the city-owned single-sex bathrooms for the gender with which they identify. He said, "Every New Yorker should feel safe and welcome in our city—and this starts with our City buildings. Access to bathrooms and other single-sex facilities is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted or denied to anyone. New York City is proud to enforce one of the strongest human rights laws in the country, which protects the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to live freely and with respect."
The order will allow use of the bathroom without the individual "being required to show identification, medical documentation, or any other form of proof or verification of gender," a press release explained. Also: "The new Executive Order applies to City-owned buildings, including City agency offices, public parks, pools, playgrounds, certain museums and recreation centers. The Executive Order allows all individuals, including NYC’s approximately 25,000 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, to freely use City single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity."
Further, NYC agencies will have to: "Post the new single-sex facility policy in conspicuous locations for employees and members of the public to see within three months; Train managers on the policy within one year and frontline staff within two years; Update agency Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) plans to incorporate training requirements within three months, and; Report steps taken to comply with today’s Executive Order to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) pursuant to EEO reporting requirements."
Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor, said in a statement, "Today, New York City sets an example for cities across the nation. All city residents must be able to use facilities, no matter their gender identity. By ensuring that a single bathroom can be used by anyone, we make our public spaces equally available to everyone and relieve the stress and exclusion of our transgender friends and neighbors, who would otherwise be forced to deny who they are in the most basic ways. While other cities consider laws that deny this basic human right, New York City stands with our transgender residents’ right to be who they are, free from discrimination. We hope that other cities follow New York City’s lead."
In January, the City Council heard a bill that would update city plumbing, housing, and administrative codes to require existing single-occupancy bathrooms be usable by people of any gender. New York City Commission on Human Rights's Ezra Cukor said at the time, "Some transgender people’s appearances do not conform to widely held stereotypes about how men or women should look, and not everyone’s a man or a woman — some of us are nonbinary."
And some NY State legislators are advocating for the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, which would add gender identity and expression as protected classes in New York State’s anti-discrimination laws. It has passed the Democrat-controlled Assembly multiple times but hasn't even been called to a vote in the Senate.