reaking with Republican-led states and cities that have moved to restrict bathroom use, the California Assembly on Monday passed legislation requiring all single-stall bathrooms to be open to people of any gender.
As the plight of transgender people has opened a new front in civil rights fights, some elected officials have sought to require people to use bathrooms matching their sex assigned at birth. The U.S. Justice Department has said such a law in North Carolina violates the Civil Rights Act, prompting a lawsuit, and Houston voters defeated an ordinance barring discrimination against gays and transgender people after a campaign in which bathroom use featured heavily.
Things have gone differently in California. In 2013, legislators passed a law allowing students to use bathrooms or join teams corresponding to their gender identities. An effort to overturn that law failed.
Building on that, Assembly Bill 1732 would mandate that any single-occupancy restroom in any business, public place or government agency to be designated “all-gender.” Sponsored by Equality California and the California branch of the National Organization for Women, the measure drew no formal opposition from government or business groups. Its sole institutional critic was the California Right to Life Committee.