SPRINGFIELD — A Illinois Senate bill would require any single-occupancy restroom at a business to be gender neutral.
The requirement is being presented as an amendment to Senate Bill 556. The bill itself amends the state’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. The amendment was added by St. Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake).
The bill would require that “every single-occupancy restroom in a place of public accommodation or public building shall be identified as all-gender and designated for use by no more than one person at a time or for family or assisted use. Each single-occupancy restroom shall be outfitted with exterior signage indicating ‘all-gender’ or ‘gender-neutral'”.
The amendment also stated that it would only apply to new construction or facilities that do under major remodeling. The bill defines “single-occupancy” as a restroom with a single toilet, sink and urinal that has a lock on the door.
The conservative Illinois News Network first brought the amendment to light. It reported that a couple of other Democrats weren’t on board.
St. Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) told the website that some women may not want to use the same facility as a men because of cleanliness issues. Another complained about additional burdens on small businesses
“We just kind of did a minimum wage bill that kind of ticked off a lot of small business owners,” St. Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) told INN. “And now you’re about to come back on a pizza shop owner who has one bathroom … has a restroom, and the bill specifically says it has to indicate all gender.”