A restaurant in Washington D.C. was fined after staff attempted to prevent a biological male from entering the women’s bathroom.
Cuba Libre was ordered by the city to hand over $7,000 and install a sign declaring: “all individuals are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity or expression.”
The incident occurred last year when, Charles Clymer, who now identifies as a woman named Charlotte, was asked to leave the restaurant after insisting on his right to access the female restroom. The police were eventually called and reportedly said the law was on Clymer’s side.
The following day, Clymer took to Twitter: “Last night, I was told by the manager of @CubaLibreDC that I couldn’t use the women’s restroom, and after challenging his discrimination with D.C. law and responding to his threat of calling the police w/ ‘please do so’, I was forcibly removed from the restaurant.”
In response to Clymer’s Tweet, Washington D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you. While I’m glad to hear that @DCPoliceDept were there to represent our true #DCValues, we won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for.”
The following day the restaurant offered a formal apology to Clymer saying, “We are extremely sorry for the incident that occurred…” The statement went on to say, “As a rule, we support safe bathrooms and welcome guests of all gender identifications. Clearly our staff did not do so last night and treated you in an unacceptable manner. We are immediately retraining our entire staff to ensure this does not happen again.”
But that apology didn’t stop Clymer from filing a formal discrimination complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights. In a follow up Tweet, Clymer said, “I spoke with several lawyers about what justice would look like in this situation. I greatly appreciate everyone’s support, and I’ll continue to keep you updated on the resolution.”
As part of the settlement, the restaurant was ordered to institute policies and employee training to ensure complaisance with the District’s non-discrimination laws.