Cleveland Expands Law to Let Transgender People Use Any Bathroom

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CLEVELAND (AP) – Days before the Republican National Convention, Cleveland has passed a law expanding its anti-discrimination ordinance to allow transgender people to use restrooms, showers or locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

City council passed the amended version Wednesday. It removes a section that allowed business owners to say which bathroom people can use as long as they provided reasonable access to adequate facilities.

The measure had been introduced in 2013.

Supporters of the change said transgender people are often harassed, attacked and sexually assaulted when forced to use restroom facilities that don’t align with their gender identity.

Now complaints can be filed with the city’s fair housing court, which can issue civil penalties.

Businesses don’t have to pay to build separate facilities or change restroom signs.