Denny’s defends transgender woman who was arrested after using the bathroom

Denny’s has come out in support of a transgender woman who was arrested after using the women’s bathroom in North Carolina.

According to WSOCTV, a man called the police on a trans customer – who is referred to only as Michael Lloyd on the arrest report – after she used the same bathroom as his wife in one of the US restaurant chain’s establishments in Shelby, claiming “he did not feel that was right.”

When officers arrived on the scene, they stated that the 22-year-old had not broken any laws and while the man “was not satisfied, [he] did proceed to calm down.” But when the altercation escalated – and the woman allegedly cursed and spat at the man and his family – police arrested her.

North Carolina police arrested the 22-year-old transgender woman when she reportedly ‘spat and cursed at’ the man and his family (Pexels)

She was charged with disorderly conduct and later released on a $2,500 (£1,996) cash bail.

In the days that followed, Denny’s issued a statement that explained it “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind” and that it expects every one of its customers to be treated equally.

What was the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act?

Back in March 2016, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed off on the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which overturned previously-established local laws that protected LGBTQ people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Also known as House Bill 2, it essentially prohibited transgender people from using both bathroom and locker room facilities that align with their gender identity in schools and government buildings.

At the time, the move was met with widespread protests and many out-of-state corporations avoided business deals with North Carolina. Numerous performances cancelled appearances and boycotted the state while then-President Barack Obama denounced the bill and called for its repeal.

Repealing HB2

In March 2017, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper attempted to do so by issuing a law that meant that North Carolina institutions and agencies could no longer regulate who uses what bathroom or locker room. However, many weren’t necessarily happy with the “repeal” because it failed to implement statewide nondiscrimination laws – meaning that LGBTQ people could still be fired, evicted or worse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – and didn’t factor in private businesses policing the use of their facilities.