Gender neutral bathroom bill passes the Illinois House

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Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo via Good Free Photos)

Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo via Good Free Photos)

SPRINGFIELD — A bill that would ensure single-occupancy bathrooms be gender neutral has passed the Illinois House and is on its way to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The bill, SB 556 and introduced in the State Senate in March, requires 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’”.

Equality Illinois said in a press release that if SB 556 is approved by the governor, Illinois would join California, Vermont, and New Mexico in having an equitable restroom law on the books.

“A simply yet powerful bill, SB 556 will provide privacy, security, and convenience to users of single-occupancy restrooms, including individuals who may need the assistance of a caregiver, people with disabilities, parents with opposite-sex children, and transgender people,” said Myles Brady Davis, communications manager and press secretary at Equality Illinois.

The Illinois Plumbing Code had required gendered facilities. The bill amends that rule. 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.

SB 556 is supported by the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago NOW, Chicago Restroom Access Project, Equality Illinois, Illinois NOW, Illinois Pipe Trades Association, National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Pride Action Tank, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana, SEIU Illinois Council, and Sierra Club-Illinois Chapter.

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