A new bill proposed by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) AB 1732, would force businesses, government buildings and other public venues to stop identifying single-use restrooms as either male or female and identify themselves as “all-gender” instead.
On the California State Assembly Democratic Caucus website, Ting stated, “Restrooms are a necessity of life. Access to them influences our ability to participate in public life. Signs restricting single-use restroom access by gender create problems of convenience, fairness, and safety. They defy common sense, which is why many of us ignore them. ‘All gender’ signs will end these problems and ensure everyone’s rights are protected.”
Co-author David Chiu (D-San Francisco) added, “Having access to a restroom without restrictions based on one’s gender identity simply makes sense. All gender restrooms will enhance dignity and safety for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in their daily lives.” California has already fought one big battle over bathrooms in recent years.
Women’s groups and transgender groups were delighted. Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center, enthused, “All Californians should have the same freedom to participate in public life, go about their day, and use the bathroom when they need it. By making single-user restrooms accessible to all genders, this law will make life easier for everyone and reduce the harassment regularly experienced by transgender people and others who don’t match people’s stereotypes of what it looks like to be a man or a woman.”
Jerilyn Stapleton, President of California NOW, added, “When nature calls, women frequently have to wait. We shouldn’t have to wait or postpone having our needs fairly met in public. Everyone should experience equal waiting time. We have universal bathroom access at home and on airplanes so why not require it in public buildings?”