It’s been a topic of fierce debate for months, and now there are fresh calls for a nationwide move towards more gender-neutral toilets.
The LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) community are pushing for the bathrooms to be installed in ALL public and commercial buildings across Australia.
And while many support the plea, others say it’s pushing PC too far – so what do you think?
The proposal has been submitted to the National Building Codes Board – and it’s now expected to be referred for consideration at the Building Minister Forum in the New Year.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Queensland president Shelley Argent told the Courier Mail the facilities would give transgender people “choice and dignity”.
She claims transgender people have previously been abused in male toilets, while they may be accused of preying on females in the women’s bathrooms.
“Going to the toilet is a normal every day function. But for trans or non-binary people, it can be a difficult experience,” she said.
However, critics claim it would just increase building costs, and point out there are currently uni-sex disabled toilets in many buildings already.
“I struggle to see the need for this,” Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell told the news site. “We already have unisex toilets, parents’ rooms, men and women’s toilets. It’s a significant requirement already.
“The proponents would have to make a very strong case that there are significant benefits to be achieved given the substantial extra costs that would be incurred,” he added.
But Argent said: “They don’t have a disability so why should they have to use them?”
It comes after more than one million people in the United States signed a petition promising to boycott the department store Target last year because it announced it would allow transgender people to use bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond to their gender identity, not the gender on their birth certificate.
According to the American Family Alliance that organised the petition, the new bathroom policy would allow sexual predators much easier access to their victims.