Germany’s capital could soon see its public restroom facilities converted to gender-neutral toilets, a change that Berlin’s justice minister Dirk Behrendt believes will be an easy transition.
According to Behrendt, “The building scan showed that having toilets for all sexes in many places would be simple to implement.”
Behrendt doesn’t believe the proposed change will be much of an issue because other public places have always used gender-neutral restrooms.
“In trains and aeroplanes, the toilets are also not separated by sex, and that doesn’t bother anyone,” he said.
Several government buildings in Berlin have already finished this transition, and within the justice ministry building where Behrendt works, a gender-neutral bathroom has always existed, reports PinkNews.
Berlin’s move stands in sharp contrast to the push for gender-neutral bathrooms in the U.S., which has been derailed by Republicans in states such as North Carolina.
The state’s controversial HB2 law, which dictated that people could only use the restroom in line with their birth gender, was partially repealed after an ultimatum by the NCAA. The state can still regulate use of multi-occupancy toilets despite HB2’s repeal, and on top of that, new laws protecting against anti-LGBT discrimination have been barred until December 2020.
The ban on passing new discrimination protections is troublesome, considering that, as Charlotte Magazine covered in a timeline of the events leading up to HB2’s creation, the discriminating law was quickly passed after Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance allowing its transgender citizens to use the bathroom corresponding to their correct gender.
Behrendt hopes that with Berlin’s move forward, Germany can avoid suffering the same struggle seen in the United States.
The bathroom transition comes on the heels of Germany’s parliament voting to make same-sex marriage legal.
Germany is on a strong winning streak for LGBT rights.