The White House announced on Wednesday a gender-neutral bathroom is now available at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The decision to open such a restroom was made, according to reports, to protect the rights of LGBT members.
The site is in an area where White House personnel offices are located along with meeting spaces. According to CNN, the White House presently permits their staff and guests to use bathrooms that their gender identity applies to.
“The White House allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, which is in keeping with the Administration’s existing legal guidance on this issue and consistent with what is required by the Executive Order that took effect today for federal contractors,” White House spokesman Jeff Tiller told CNN. “In addition, an all-gender restroom is also available in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which provides guests and staff an additional option.”
Responding most recently to a petition on WeThePeople.gov, the White House is seeking to prohibit therapies directed at changing the sexual orientation of young individuals, The New York Times reports. The petition, which has over 100,000 signatures, asked for lawmakers in Washington to write up and pass a bill called “Leelah’s Law.”
White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett wrote in response to the petition, “We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer youth.”
Jarrett explained, ”When assessing the validity of conversion therapy, or other practices that seek to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation, it is as imperative to seek guidance from certified medical experts.” She added, “The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm.
Jarrett concluded in the statement, ”As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”