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‘Potty parity’: Yale Law converts two restrooms to ‘all-gender’ for LGBT students

School had to get state’s permission to get around building code

Yale Law School recently converted some of its multi-stall restrooms into “all-gender” bathrooms, a move that required a waiver from the state government to get around building code requirements.

The two new bathrooms in the law school “bring the count of gender-neutral stalls throughout the School to a total of 20,” Yale Daily News reports.

In an email newsletter, George Washington University, Law School Professor John Banzhaf described the bathroom conversion as a “victory for potty parity and LGBTs.”

In order to accommodate its LGBT students, the law school “sought to convert some traditional single-sex multi-user restrooms to all-gender use, but ran up against Connecticut codes which said that there must be a ‘minimum number of bathrooms that are required in buildings for women and men, separately’,” Banzhaf’s newsletter reads:

This meant that restrooms available for use by all genders would not count toward the number of restrooms needed for compliance.

Adding more single-user restrooms was not possible, Yale argued, because the construction of more bathrooms to satisfy the code would negatively impact the architectural integrity of the almost century-old Law School building, and would be impossible due to space constraints. However, after some litigation, and an intervention by the governor, Yale was granted permission…

Several years ago, GWU Law School did the same thing; taking a previously traditional male restroom with three urinals and a stall toilet, and changing the sign on the door to “All Gender.”

This, as Banzhaf explained at the time, helped satisfy the needs of transgender individuals.

It also meant that, if there were long lines at the adjacent women’s restroom, women could use the new facility.  Their sexual privacy would be protected by the stall surrounding the toilet, he suggested.

The bathroom change was advocated in part by the OutLaws, an LGBT-centric Yale Law group that seeks to “provide a community for LGBTQ-identified people within YLS, to provide opportunities and connections for members of the YLS community who are interested in LGBTQ rights, and to advocate for legal issues of interest to the LGBTQ community.”

Read The Daily‘s report here.

MORE: Students hold ‘Shit In’ to demand more gender-neutral bathrooms

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