Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Laws in Public Accommodations

By Amira Hasenbush, Andrew R. Flores and Jody L. Herman
September 2018

A study in Massachusetts finds that the state’s public accommodations nondiscrimination laws that include gender identity do not affect the number or frequency of criminal incidents in restrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms. In addition, reports of privacy and safety violations in these places are exceedingly rare.

Researchers used criminal report data from several Massachusetts localities to assess differences in the rates of crime in areas with and without public accommodation laws that included gender identity protections. Results showed that immediately after the laws’ passage, there were fewer incidents of privacy and safety violations in places with gender-identity inclusive public accommodations laws than in comparable areas without the laws.

This is the first study to examine criminal report data to assess changes in the rates of crime before and after the introduction of public accommodation laws that include gender identity protections.

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