California mandates single-user bathrooms become gender-neutral
September 30, 2016
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into a law a bill whose author, a San Francisco Democrat, describes as the “nation’s most inclusive restroom access law.” The new law requires all businesses and public facilities that have single-user restrooms to place signage indicating the bathrooms can be used by all genders.
State law defines a single-user restrooms as a bathroom that has no more than one toilet and one urinal with a locking mechanism which the user can control. Businesses and government agencies have until March 1, 2017 to comply with the regulation.
Assemblyman Phil Ting authored AB 1731, in part, as a response to 19 states that he says, in 2016, have considered restricting access to bathrooms and other sex-segregated facilities based on biological sex.
“California is charting a new course for equality,” Ting said in statement following Brown’s signature. “Restricting access to single-user restrooms by gender defies common sense and disproportionately burdens the LGBT community, women and parents or caretakers of dependents of the opposite gender. Bathroom access is a biological need. This law will ensure more safety, fairness and convenience access for everyone.”
Ting also said Brown’s signature of AB 1732 solidifies California’s status at the national leader on transgender rights. In 2013, Brown signed legislation allowing transgender students at public schools to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. In 2011, Brown signed a bill that added gender identity and gender expression to California’s nondiscrimination laws.