Annise Parker clarifies things for HPD
As our story goes, Moore was arrested Nov. 17 for violating Section 28-20 of the municipal code -- "Entering restrooms of opposite sex" -- after an officer determined that she was legally Nathanial Tyrone Moore, an individual with a penis.
Though Moore went on to plead guilty (in order, it was said, to get out of jail), the mayor later described the arrest as "not about behavior" but about the officer's apparent misunderstanding of an executive order she issued last spring, forbidding any city employee from impeding access "by any employee or member of the public to a city restroom facility that is consistent with and appropriate to that person's expression of gender identity."
This misunderstanding "needs to be clarified," the mayor said, and earlier this week, an HPD spokesman, John Cannon, confirmed for Hair Balls that the department has been reviewing its enforcement policy for Section 28-20 with the city attorney's office. Cannon referred questions there, and yesterday, the mayor's press secretary, Jessica Michan, e-mailed with answers.
The mayor has said she is committed to "providing practical solutions in a diverse city," and Michan made clear that providing everyone a comfortable public restroom is "the goal of the order."
The order and ordinance work together like this, she explained: Section 28-20 declares it illegal to enter a restroom of the opposite sex only if done "without the permission of the owner." And the mayor's order, which applies only to buildings owned by the city, grants the public "permission to use the restroom appropriate to the gender with which they identify."
What this means is that Tyjanae Moore didn't need a genitals check to enter the ladies room in the city library. Trannies don't either, and no one does, and HPD officers no longer have to bother trying to sort the right genitals into the proper box, because where city-owned buildings are concerned, the ordinance governing who enters what restroom is no longer genitals-based.
Henceforth, everyone may use the restroom appropriate to the gender with which they identify. Everyone can go to the restroom he (or she) damn well pleases!
At least in city-owned buildings. As to whether the mayor hopes to assure transgenders city-wide access to public bathrooms, her press secretary said, "Not at this time."
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