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Transgender woman claims DC restaurant demanded ID before using restroom, then kicked her out

Charlotte Clymer, a transgender woman, claimed she was asked for identification before entering a restroom at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Restaurant executives apologized to Clymer for the incident and said that employees would receive training about the law. (Image source: Video screenshot)

A Washington, D.C., restaurant may face legal action after an employee asked a transgender woman for identification upon entering the women's restroom over the weekend.

Charlotte Clymer said she was attending a bachelorette party at Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar with a "large group of women," but claimed she was the only one who was asked to prove she was female before using the ladies room late Friday evening.

Clymer tweeted that the Washington, D.C., Office of Human Rights and the city's licensing authority will be conducting an investigation. She also plans to explore legal options against the restaurant, according to the Washington Post.

The transgender woman is an activist and spokeswoman for the Human Rights Campaign.

What happened?

It was close to midnight when Clymer and a friend made their way through the restaurant's crowded hallways to use the restroom.

"Near the end our time there, I went to use the restroom with Bethany Quinn and before I reached the door, an attendant stuck out his arm and said he needed to see my ID. When I asked why, he said that 'female' must be on an ID to use the women's restroom. No one else was asked," Clymer wrote on Facebook.

The transgender woman said she told the attendant, "that's nonsense, turned on my heel, and continued into the restroom."

Clymer claimed the attendant then walked inside the bathroom searching for her.

"He is doing everything but opening the stall doors. I ignore him, and after a few moments, he leaves. I do my business, wash my hands, and walk out," she wrote.

When she exited the restroom, the attendant and manager were waiting in the hallway.

The manager said, "it's D.C. law that you must have 'female' on your ID to use the women's restroom," Clymer claimed.

"I tell him he's wrong and there's no chance I'm showing him my ID. There are people crammed into this hallway. It's busy. He insists I need to show my ID, I tell him that's not happening, and demand to see what law he's citing," she continued on Facebook.

"You being in there will make women uncomfortable," the manager allegedly told Clymer.

Eventually, the manager reportedly threatened to call the police and and Clymer encouraged it. Instead, they threw her out and and Clymer made the call to police.

“I went to a place of anger that I do not visit often. Something had to be done. I’m not the kind of person who calls cops, but at that point, I didn’t know what else to do,” Clymer wrote. “In D.C., a city celebrated for its LGBTQ culture, inclusivity, and protections, it stunned me that a business could so openly discriminate against transgender people.”

What does the law say?

“It shall be unlawful for any person or entity, including agencies of the District of Columbia government and its contractors, to discriminate against a person in employment, housing, public accommodations, or educational institutions on the basis of that person’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression,” according to the D.C. Human Acts Right.

Also, all single-stall bathrooms must be gender neutral and are required to use gender-neutral signage.

What did the police say?

The police showed up shortly after Clymer made the call.

“The D.C. police could not have been more professional. They arrived on the scene, were immediately a calming presence, immediately took reports,” Clymer told the Post. “I could not have asked for a better experience with the police.”

What did Cuba Libre say?

Restaurant executives apologized to Clymer for the incident and said that employees would receive training about the law.

“It is particularly disappointing that this has occurred during Pride month when we’re undertaking efforts & events to support the LGBTQ community,” Cuba Libre wrote in a letter to Clymer posted on Twitter.

The restaurant told the Post it would not comment further until the company's CEO had a chance to speak with Clymer.

Cuba Libre did not immediately respond on Monday to TheBlaze's request for comments.

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