Traverse City Commissioners Discuss Gender Neutral Restrooms - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Traverse City Commissioners Discuss Gender Neutral Restrooms

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Heated discussion in Traverse City, surrounding gender neutral bathrooms.

City commissioners heard several resolutions from the Human Rights Commission about having gender neutral bathrooms.

It would be a non-binding agreement to have the restrooms in city owned and public spaces.

The resolutions would also support businesses who want to have gender neutral bathrooms.

The resolutions also talked about having a gender neutral bathroom for every men's and women's restroom along with cooperation from TCAPS.

But not everyone at the meeting was on board.

"I think we are really hopeful that we can help make Traverse City a safer place for people on all sides of this issue," said Taylor Nash.

It's a goal the Human Rights Commission has been working on for several months: to gather information for gender neutral restrooms. They took the next step: presenting to the City Commission.

"The prospect of using a public restroom is scary for a lot of people who don't conform to typical gender identity and it's a concern that's really a tragedy," Taylor said.

But not everyone sees it that way, including one mom who is ok with bathrooms that have one stall, but overall is concerned for her daughter's safety.

"Because who is not to say that we aren't going to get someone out there that they feel like they're this sex one day and they're actually a pedophile out there. Are we going to be able to screen those people from using the bathrooms? No we're not," she said.

She's also worried about tourists who travel up north.

"Think about our children in this community, we have wonderful safe family environment community and we have a lot of families that come up here to vacation why would we want to destroy that in any way," she said.

Other supporters, hitting home that it's about embracing everyone in the community.

"We evolve, we change, humans evolve we need to love each other and accept each other for our differences and work with each other so we all feel comfortable and safe and we need to stop being fearful of each others differences," said Mayor Jim Carruthers.

Commissioners say it will be considered at a future meeting.

A date for a vote has not been set yet.