Those who believe that you should use the bathroom that corresponds to your biological sex are one enemy lighter this week after a local British politician who pushed gender-neutral bathrooms was arrested on child sex crimes.
According to the BBC, Middlesbrough Council member David Smith was arrested for what the broadcaster called “a string of sex offenses.”
Smith, 30, was just elected in May, but he’s managed to alienate both supporters of his Conservative Party base and liberals.
On the liberal front, he was forced to apologize after making a comment on social media that welfare recipients were “rotten pond life families that should be sterilised and washed.”
As for conservatives, both with a capital and lower-case C, he convinced the mayor of the North Yorkshire city to give gender-neutral toilets a shot.
“Cllr Smith had called for Middlesbrough to become a gender-neutral town and asked the mayor to make a start by designating all council building toilets as gender-neutral,” Teesside Live reported in June.
Middlesbrough went a different route: “The local authority is planning to roll out the changes in council buildings by making disabled toilets ‘open access’ while maintaining gender-specific toilets.”
Smith, however, hailed it as a victory.
“This morning I had a constructive meeting with the mayor on the topic of gender-neutral toilets.”
“I very much look forward to working with the mayor to deliver a positive environment for all of the citizens in Middlesbrough,” he said after his meeting with the mayor.
“Over the last 24 hours, I have listened and read the public’s concerns. But I maintain the view that gender-neutral toilets does not increase the threat to public safety.
“In fact, gender neutral toilets already exist in Middlesbrough such as Starbucks to very little fuss,” he added.
“This is all about creating a positive environment for everyone to use public facilities without fear or humiliation.”
Starbucks, you must admit, is somewhat different than a public building. At the time, the move incurred some token opposition, mostly over how it was done with little consultation.
Two men have a meeting and decision is made to introduce ‘gender free’ toilet trial. No consultation.
And, why does it still need pointing out. You do not have to be a wheelchair user to use a disabled toilet. Many, many, ‘invisible’ disabilities.https://t.co/AnF4x5HxEz
— Emma Chesworth (@EmmaChesworth1) June 21, 2019
At the moment, anyhow, it doesn’t look like Smith is going to be doing any more pushing for gender-neutral facilities, given that his hands are going to be full with court appearances.
Smith, who was charged with nine counts of sexual touching of a child, is due in court next on August 7. He’s already resigned from the Middlesbrough Council Conservative Group and the Conservative Party “with immediate effect.”
“I completely reject these spurious allegations and removing myself from the party will ensure I can focus all my efforts on fighting to clear my name,” Smith said.
And presumably, not fighting to install gender-neutral toilets.
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