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Illinois House passes bill to allow multi-stall gender neutral bathrooms

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The Illinois House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill that would allow businesses to have multi-stall gender neutral bathrooms.

State law currently only allows gender neutral single-occupancy bathrooms.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the bill was designed to allow caregivers to give assistance in public bathrooms. However, a Republican legislator said the bill was a step in requiring special bathrooms for transgender people, saying the facilities would be unsafe for others. The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville).

“This bill is really about when you have a caregiver that’s an opposite gender, that they can now go in with their loved one such as a mother can go in with a son and help in the restroom,” she told the newspaper on Friday. “And we’re talking about a normal bodily function, a human bodily function. That’s all we’re talking about.”

State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palantine) said the bill would make cisgender women feel unsafe about sharing a bathroom with a transgender woman.

Although she didn’t file the bill with transgender issues in mind, she told the Sun-Times that Morrison’s comments were “clearly transphobic.” There are no state laws saying people must use the restroom for their gender assigned at birth.

The newspaper said the bill passed with a vote of 63 to 43 on party lines. The bill does have the support of Equality Illinois.

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