Omaha bar neutralizes bathroom signs

Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-10 11:18:22-04

An Old Market bar, The Tavern, has changed the way they are labeling their bathroom doors. 

This comes after one Omaha bar-owner angered many this week with a social media post about transgendered people using different restrooms, saying he felt it was inappropriate and potentially dangerous.

“We are neutralizing our bathrooms, we are taking the gender off the door, and we are stipulating what is behind the door,” said Tavern owner David Kerr.

Kerr said they are changing their signs because it was the right thing for them to do.

“I believe in equality, equality is for everyone and there is no if, and, or buts. There is no yes, but not for these people, it's everyone and that is exactly what this bar stands for.”

Some of the patrons at the Tavern that saw the new signs said they think it’s a great idea.

“On a personal level I do think it’s awesome, we do live in a society where people are free to be who there are and it's awesome that a business is going to accept that,” said Brandon Lecher. 

“I can’t believe it’s even a question at hand, just as long as you have a little bit of privacy it doesn’t matter who is going next to me,” said Kaitlyn Williamson. 

Kerr said so far the response to the signs has been positive and he just wants his bar to be open to everyone.

“Neutralizing our bathrooms does not make us a gay bar, it makes us an everyone bar, and that is what we are trying to be,” he commented.

The owner of the Hive, Jake Gardner, said “Transgender folks are not the danger, but what I do know is that predators will use anything and everything they can to gain access to victims. This kind of unquestioned access is completely unsafe. We have to make sure loopholes in laws are well debated and that we remain vigilant in the name of safety for all." 

Gardner said he plans to meet with leaders of the LGBT community in the next few weeks to discuss a gender natural bathroom.