Letter to the editor: Bathroom rights are business rights

Posted on May 4 2016 - 8:15pm by Sean Johnson


The right of a transgendered person to use public restrooms is a heated topic of discussion at the moment. North Carolina recently passed a law banning people from using the bathroom that does not match their birth certificate, meaning only those who have completed the surgery to transition and have filled to the appropriate paperwork can use the bathroom with which they identify. Target recently made it store policy to allow use of whichever fitting room and bathroom a person identifies with. But most debate over this subject ignores a key point: who owns the bathroom.

The answer is simple: the business does. The bathroom is the property of the business, and therefore is property of whomever owns the business. As property, only the owner should decide who uses it. Any law telling the business owner who they can and cannot allow to use their property violates the rights of the owner.

Target, for example, is a publicly traded business: multiple people own it. This means that the people who own large shares of the business are the ones who decide how it is ran: the board of directors. Individual Target locations must agree to the policy set forth by these directors in order to carry the Target name.

The owners decided to let transgendered people use their property, and the North Carolina law violates the rights of the owners by not allowing them to serve people they want to serve.

This reasoning applies to the opposite situation as well. If a business does not want to let transgender people to use their bathroom, it is their right.

The proper way to protest practices you do not like is through boycotts. Don’t like Target’s policy? Do not buy from them. Don’t like a store not letting transgendered people use their bathroom? Do not buy from them.

Sean Johnson
Freshman mechanical engineering major