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DC Restaurant Fined $7,000 for Not Letting Biological Male Use the Women's Restroom

01-21-2019
Bathroom Sign

A Washington, DC restaurant must pay the District of Columbia $7,000 as a penalty and for legal costs resulting from an incident last summer in which the restaurant refused to let a biological male customer use the women's restroom.

The controversy began last June when Clyde Clymer, a transgender person, entered the woman's bathroom at Cuba Libre Rum Bar and Restaurant in Chinatown.  Restaurant staff tried to prevent Clymer from using the bathroom and asked to see identification, according to a press release from the office of the attorney general for the District of Columbia.

After he was told to leave the restaurant, Clymer called the police. 

DC's Attorney General Karl Racine said the restaurant violated the District's Human Rights Act (HRA). The HRA prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender identity or expression and protects residents from discrimination based on a wide variety of personal characteristics. 

The $7,000 fine is just one part of a settlement with the DC Attorney General's office. In addition, the restaurant must post a sign that reads: "All individuals are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity or expression."

The restaurant must also create written corporate policies for employees to make sure they comply with the District's laws regarding gender identity expression as well as establish an on-going training program for all employees to prevent discrimination in the future. 

The employees involved in the incident were terminated and a separate settlement was reached with Clymer, according to the press release. 

In a statement emailed to CBN News, Barry Gutin, president and CEO of Guest Counts Hospitality, the corporate owner of Cuba Libre Restaurants said: "Creating a welcoming atmosphere and dining environment for guests and staff members is vital for all public facing businesses operating today."

A scheduled workshop "will help restauranteurs understand the challenges of the LGBTQ community, steps that can be taken to ensure compliance with local regulations and how to foster an inclusive and safe environment, " the statement continued. 

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