Governor signs legislation broadening restroom access laws

All single-user restrooms in any California business, government building or place of public accommodation must be accessible to all

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that is being considered the most inclusive restroom access law in the nation.

Assembly Bill 1732, which was authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) establishes that all single-user restrooms in any California business, government building and or place of public accommodation must be accessible to all genders, according to Ting's office.

The bill comes as at least 19 other states have recently considered restricting access to restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities according to biological sex.

The bill, which will go into effect beginning March 1, 2017, was sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California NOW, Ting's office said.

"California is charting a new course for equality," Ting said in a statement. "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."

Earlier this year, San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed similar legislation, introduced by Supervisor David Campos.

That legislation requires that all city businesses change signage on all single-occupancy restrooms, indicating that they are neither for men nor women exclusively.

The switch is intended to benefit trans people and gender non-conforming people who might face harassment while trying to use a restroom.

It's also intended to benefit parents with opposite gender children, disabled or senior residents with opposite-gender caregivers and women who often face longer lines for public restrooms, according to Campos' office.

Other cities such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Austin, West Hollywood, Berkeley and New York City have enacted similar legislation.

Of the new state legislation, Campos said, "This critical legislation expands the access rights we have in San Francisco to every county across our state. This legislation will help ensure that all California residents, including LGBT individuals and people with disabilities, can use the bathroom in peace - without fear of harassment or discrimination."

Daniel Montes, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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2 people like this
Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

Yes, restroom access is a biological need. However, the restroom one uses should be based exclusively on biology. The so-called "progressive" thinking exhibited by Jerry Brown and the California legislature is setting aside centuries of common sense. It is time to set the state and the nation back on a common sense course.

4 people like this
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

I can hardly wait to hear the screams from the left when it hits the fan, and it will. Unintended consequences are always unintended but they always happen. There must be something in the water, for most of my 80 years I never heard of a transgender, now it seems (if you look at all the press about them) they are the majority of the population.

It gets Curiouser and curiouser!

6 people like this
Posted by chemist
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

Well, at least it appears that this law only affects single-user facilities. So the worst that should happen is that the women will have to deal with the toilet seat being left up, or worse yet, left down and wet. But the new progressive thinking now extends to multi-user facilities at Target, the women's locker rooms at NCAA colleges, and what used to be the "Girls" bathroom at the local high schools. Good-bye to common sense, hello to the guys hanging out in the girls locker rooms.

4 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 4, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Is this really a big deal? I've never understood the point of having a gender sign on a single-user restroom anyway. Lots of businesses already post their single-user restrooms as being "male or female".

The real controversy is whether to allow persons of physically different biological genders to use the same multi-user bathroom.

Like this comment
Posted by Huggy Bear
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 4, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Thank goodness we have Phil Ting charting for all of us important issues here in California.
With the determined backing of Equality California, The Transgender Law Group and California NOW we can ALL sleep a little better knowing this important legislation has passed. Mr.Ting is touring the country now mentoring the other 19 states that have adopted similar legislation on how to handle a homeless crisis.

Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Oct 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

This is not a big deal, it's a "single-user" bathroom.

Multi-user bathrooms are an entirely different topic and for that, biology should be the differentiator.

Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

@ Chemist; [removed] Indoor toilets are a recent innovation. Where I grew up, we did not have gender labels on the outhouse. Public toilets were seldom gender labeled. Even McDonalds in Japan has no gender labels on toilets.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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