Nobody Gives a…

August 21, 2018

by Rob Roper

So, it hit the news today that Vermont businesses are not complying with the new “gender neutral” bathroom law.  This went into effect a little less than two months ago on July 1, and mandates that all single occupancy, lockable bathrooms be labeled as “restroom” and not use gender specific icons, such as the typical male and female silhouettes. Put another way, it bans restaurants, gas stations, etc. from having private men’s and women’s/boys’ and girls’ rooms.

Quoted in Vermont Digger, Karen Richards of the Vermont Human Rights Commission said, “In virtually every business that I have been in from restaurants to retail stores to car dealerships, the signage has been out of compliance with the new standards.”

Virtually every business!  Wow! This must have sparked general outrage because, as Governor Scott said at the signing ceremony for the bathroom bill (again hat tip to Digger), “For many transgender and gender non-conforming Vermonters, having bathrooms labeled male or female creates social stress and discomfort or instances where you face hostility and mistreatment.”

That sounds awful. These folks must have really been looking forward to the day when businesses complied with this critical new law and must have been outraged to discover it was being universally flouted. Nope. You know how many complaints were filed about “virtually no businesses” complying with this law? One.

What does this tell us? That this law, for all the hoopla and drama in the State House, was an unnecessary solution in search of a non-existent problem. Everybody continued relieving themselves in public restrooms without issue, just as they did before the law was passed. Government acted boldly, the law changed nothing, and nobody cared. Life went on just fine for everyone.

We should be happy about this. It is a great example of how we do not need government micromanaging every tiny aspect of our lives and businesses (like what kind of sign is illegal to post on the door to a toilet) to get along in a functioning society.

On the downside, rather than recognize that their law is unnecessary and repeal it, you can bet the state will now go out of its way to force businesses to get in line because… well, just because. After all, it was a helluva bill signing ceremony!

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanne August 25, 2018 at 1:05 am

Government is necessary for … for … something. I just can’t remember what.

Does anyone know how much tax money is spent on passing ridiculous bills like this? Is there no more useful way to spend money?

I wonder what they’ll come up with next.


William Hays August 25, 2018 at 2:41 am

I’ll bet they go for repealing the ‘spay-and-neuter’ laws/mandates for pets. They are especially distressing to male dogs and cats, giving them much less self-esteem, etc.. I don’t think Hallquist will support any such measures, as her privates have already been processed/recycled at the Alpo factory. No. That won’t show on the label.


Jeanne V August 25, 2018 at 3:22 pm

I personally do not like the idea of being in a public bathroom with people that are of the other sex or otherwise. I want to be in a ladies room with other genuinely female ladies.


Steve hearne August 27, 2018 at 12:36 am

It has been my experience that some businesses have stopped having a public rest room even for customers that purchase large amounts of fuel. It happened to me at three different locations. Could it be they are responding to this absurd law? I bought $100.00 worth of diesel at each one and was refused the use of the rest room after fueling. My truck will never return to any of those locations. That was when $100.00 bought a fair amount of diesel.


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