Starbucks stores in Washington, D.C., began removing gender-specific
designations from their restrooms this week and are aiming to have all
52 of their single-stall restrooms gender-neutral within a month.
The move is in keeping with a rarely enforced regulation in the District of Columbia, enacted to ensure equal access to public facilities, including restrooms.
Although the law has been on the books since a 2006 amendment to the
D.C. Human Rights Act was approved, compliance is often the exception rather than
In the end, it took campaigning from local LGBT groups
including the D.C. Trans Coalition and the D.C. Center to convince the global coffee giant to to satisfy
requirements that businesses afford individuals "the right to use
gender-specific restrooms and other gender-specific facilities such as
dressing rooms, homeless shelters, and group homes that are consistent
with their gender identity or expression."