The mayor’s action plan to help the LGBTQ community includes Seattle police training and all-gender single restrooms in city buildings and places of public accommodation.
Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan Thursday to combat issues of safety and equity facing LGBTQ people in light of recent hate crimes on Capitol Hill.
The sweeping plan includes mandating that all single restrooms in city buildings be gender neutral, training for Seattle police and funding for a project that would aid social service agencies helping LGBTQ homeless youth.
The recent crimes in Capitol Hill also have spurred other actions, including Seattle police’s Safe Place program and the rainbow crosswalks in the neighborhood. The mayor’s office reported that in the first seven months of 2015, there were 41 anti-LGBTQ hate-based crimes or incidents reported to Seattle police — a 46 percent increase from the 28 such crimes reported in the first seven months of 2014.
“Seattle has long been a place where everyone can find an accepting and tolerant home,” the mayor said in a news release. “We celebrate our history of advancing equity for the LGBTQ community and we will support efforts to make Seattle even more inclusive.”
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The plan, with recommendations crafted from a LGBTQ task force assembled in March, targeted four issues: public safety, LGBTQ youth, the built environment and public understanding.
It includes the Department of Neighborhoods reaching out to LGBTQ organizations for matching fund grants, and Seattle police developing officer training for their interactions with the LGBTQ community.
Murray is requesting money in the 2016 budget for Project EQTY, led by the Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse. The project aims to improve agencies’ work with LGBTQ homeless young people. He also will support more funding for the Office for Civil Rights to help its public visibility campaign grow to include themes of LGBTQ equality.
An ordinance submitted to the City Council would change all existing signage in single-occupant restrooms to gender-inclusive language in all city buildings and places of public accommodation.