By Ryan Lothspeich
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii at Manoa has opened nine new all-gender bathrooms around campus.
The change was made before the start of the fall semester on Aug. 22.
The bathrooms are single stall, similar to family restrooms, and all are lockable and ADA compliant.
"We're celebrating the opening of gender-free restrooms at the University of Hawaii," UH-Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman said. "It's a very important day. Manoa is a place that celebrates diversity, we're proud and pleased that we have all sorts of different kinds of people here, but diversity also means respect."
The gender-free restrooms were put in place to comply with the federal Title IX law, prohibiting sex discrimination.
"I'm excited about the work that's being done here at UH-Manoa and throughout the UH system in support of transgender students and to make sure we're in compliance with Title IX," said Camaron Miyamoto, director of the LGBTQ Center. "I know that this is a first step in making sure we have more conversations about the acceptance and appreciation of the diversity in Hawaii."
The West Oahu and Hilo campuses also have all-gender restrooms and UH community colleges are planning to have all-gender restrooms as well.
Meanwhile, Chaminade University of Honolulu has had several all-gender bathrooms on campus since summer 2015.
Hawaii Pacific University spokesman Richard Rapoza said the institution doesn't have any all-gender bathrooms currently, but is looking at whether it needs to add any. "We are confident that we would be open to a number of solutions to respect the gender identity of our students, faculty, staff and other members of the community," he said.