Vermont's new "gender free" bathroom law is no big deal

Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott (R) has signed yet another “bathroom bill” into law which is currently being hailed as a victory for LGBT interests in the United States. The short description of the law might tend to make you think the same thing. The legislation mandates that publicly available restrooms will be marked as “gender free.” But when you look into the details, there is one important caveat as to which facilities are covered by the law which actually makes it a very positive step in the ongoing bathroom wars which have become a focus of the transgender debate. (The Hill)

Vermont’s Republican governor has signed into law a gender-neutral bathroom measure that lawmakers are touting as a major victory for LGBTQ rights.

The bill, which was passed by a large majority in the state House last year and unanimously in the state Senate, requires that all single-user restrooms in public spaces be marked as “gender-free.”

Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill into law on Friday, and said that he hopes the bill will “send a powerful message,” particularly for kids “who face anxiety and bullying over something as simple as using the restroom” in schools, according to CNN.

“Vermont has a well-earned reputation for embracing equality and being inclusive,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

If you read through the description too quickly you might miss it, but this law only applies to single-user restroom facilities. Bathrooms with multiple stalls may still be properly assigned by gender.

Why is that such a key distinction? Because whether you’re talking about schools, government offices or public places of accommodation, this has always been the easiest and best “out” for those facing challenges from social justice warriors over transgender inclusivity. This has never been a question of privacy for transgender activists. It’s a demand in the spirit of You Will Be Made To Care which insists that the public allow men claiming to be women into the lady’s room and vice versa. Any time you have single-user restrooms and you simply take the sign off the door and let anyone use them, the issue is defused.

Plenty of places – particularly doctors offices and hospitals – already employ this lack of gender labels and they avoid problems that way. Unfortunately, buildings that already have multiple user restrooms can’t always make such a switch. It’s expensive and you require more floor space to accommodate the same number of toilets when each one has to have their own walls and door. But for new construction projects, promoting the use of single-user facilities will go a long way toward taking the teeth out of this argument. The same should be done for locker rooms and shower facilities where possible.

I don’t know if this was the original intent of Governor Scott when he signed the bill into law, but he’s managed to pull off a bit of a coup here in the transgender wars. He’s being hailed as a supporter of transgender rights while actually delivering absolutely nothing to them which they didn’t already have.