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Pitt Bathroom Policy Contradicts City/County Nondiscrimination Codes

A University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) facilities policy contradicts that of the city and county in which the university is located, The Pitt News reports.

In February, Pitt’s Anti-Discriminatory Policies Committee passed a resolution suggesting that the university allow people to use campus bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, rather than of biological sex. Last month that suggestion came to a sudden halt when a representative from the university’s General Counsel and Human Resources offices announced that students would be forced ”to use gendered facilities according to the sex listed on their birth certificates.”

The Pitt News reports that the university’s policy challenges a citywide code regarding the issue.

Charles Morrison, the director of Pittsburgh’s Commission on Human Relations, suggested to The Pitt News that the university is violating both city and county codes. ”According to the city code, ‘Sex is the gender of a person, as perceived, presumed or assumed by others, including those who are changing or have changed their gender identification,”’ Morrison told the paper.

The university’s vice chancellor, Robert Hill, responded by emphasizing Pitt’s nondiscrimination policy. ”The University of Pittsburgh will not discriminate on the basis of gender identity and expression,” he said in a statement. ”This does not represent a change in policy; rather, it is an articulation of a long-standing University practice concerning the use of restroom and locker room facilities.”

Adam Dobson, vice-president of the university’s gay-straight alliance told The Pitt News, ”What I would like is if Pitt would appropriately implement its nondiscrimination policy because of its concern for its students, rather than fear of legal consequences. What I’d really like to see is a university that values all of its students’ safety, comfort and identities.”