A Washington DC restaurant has been handed a $7,000 fine for discriminating against a trans woman who had used the women’s bathroom.

Charlotte Clymer, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, was ejected from Cuba Libre Rum Bar and Restaurant, DC, in June 2018 after she refused to show her ID to use the women’s bathroom.



A male bathroom attendant had demanded that Clymer show ID in order to get into the women’s bathroom, before following her into the bathroom when she declined to do so.

After leaving the bathroom, Clymer was confronted by the restaurant manager, who again asked to see her ID, and asked her to leave when she refused.

Cuba Libre restaurant admits discrimination

On January 16, the restaurant agreed to pay a fine of $7,000 for a violation of the DC Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of gender identity or expression.

Under the settlement, the restaurant must stop discriminating against transgender people and must institute “policies and employee training” on trans issues.

The restaurant will also post signage on its bathrooms consistent with DC law,” explaining that people “are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity or expression.”

The restaurant staff only asked Clymer for ID, and no other customers
The staff only asked Clymer for ID, and no other customers

Attorney General of the District of Columbia Karl Racine said: “The District’s laws reflect one of our residents’ most deeply-held values: that all people should be treated equally.

“With this settlement, Cuba Libre is required to maintain policies that will ensure this type of discrimination does not happen again.

“I want to thank the restaurant’s management and staff for cooperating fully in our investigation and seeking to rectify their wrongdoing.”

The employees involved in the initial incident were fired after an internal investigation.

Cuba Libre restaurant has apologised to Charlotte Clymer

In a statement to the Washington Post, Cuba Libre co-owner Barry Gutin said that in addition to complying with the settlement, the restaurant would provide training to other businesses to “help ensure safety for DC’s transgender community at all area restaurants.”

Charlotte Clymer said: “All parties worked together to make sure a terrible night was turned into a great teaching moment, which was built on the history of advocacy by trans folks in DC, particularly trans women of colour.

“I saw a resolution to this because of the foundation they laid.”

The mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, also apologised to Clymer, writing: “I’m so sorry this happened to you.

“We won’t accept this type of discrimination in Washington, DC. It’s not just illegal, it’s against all we stand for.”




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