Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Saks Fifth Avenue Among Other Chains Implementing Inclusive Bathroom Policy

May 5th 2016

Alex Mierjeski

It's not just Target.

While the retailer has been the subject of both heavy praise and criticism for its much-publicized decision to allow transgender people to choose restrooms according to their gender identity, not their sex at birth, they're not the only company to make such a move.

Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and Hudson's Bay Co. — parent company to high-end department stores Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor — told USA Today recently that employees and customers are welcome to use bathrooms according to the genders they identify with.

mother transgender teen best responseIn statements to USA Today late last month, representatives from each company publicly confirmed their support for customers' and employees' rights.

  • Starbucks is seeking to "have more gender-neutral signage in our restrooms where jurisdictions allow it."

  • Hudson's Bay Co. "respects and affirms each person’s right to self-identify and access facilities that reflect their gender identity."

  • Barnes & Noble said that their trans customers and employees "are allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with."

A number of other national chains signed a petition launched by the Human Rights Campaign to repeal North Carolina's House Bill 2, which critics called the nation's harshest anti-LGBT legislation. This week, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a forceful letter notifying North Carolina officials that HB2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act. If the state does not repeal the law, it could lose millions in federal funding.

Bathroom Stall

Transgender access to bathrooms has taken center stage in the contentious national debate over LGBT rights, religious liberties, and public safety.

Proponents of so-called "bathroom bills" — laws in some states that bar transgender people from using certain facilities belonging to the opposite gender — say the bills are common sense, and protect against sexual predators. Opponents, however, say they are openly discriminatory and offensive, and that they seek to address a non-existent problem.