Sacramento–The California Legislature passed a bill today that would establish the nation’s most inclusive restroom access law. Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 was authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California National Organization of Women (NOW). If signed into law, the bill would require single-occupancy restrooms in California businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation to be universally accessible to all genders starting March 1, 2017. It cleared the Assembly this afternoon by a bipartisan vote of 55-15 after clearing the Senate on August 18.
“This bill sends a simple message that everyone’s rights must be respected and protected. It provides a common sense alternative to the hate being enacted in other states,” said Ting. “Restricting access to single use restrooms defies reason. It is a basic necessity of life and everyone should get in and out on the same terms. By signing this bill, Governor Jerry Brown can chart a new course for equality that other states should follow.”
“This is a common sense proposal,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Our home restrooms are already all-gender. So are restrooms on airplanes and at many hospitals and gas stations. The benefits of this simple change will enable all Californians to use restrooms in a way that is more safe, fair, and convenient.”
The vote followed a ruling earlier today by a Texas federal judge preventing the U.S. Department of Education from implementing guidelines requiring school districts to allow transgender students to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
“This law is a simple measure that will make everyone’s lives easier,” said Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center. “Having restrooms open to all genders will mean less hassle for everyone going about their day, and will allow people who don’t fit neatly into expectations of what it looks like to be male or female to use the restroom without fear of harassment.”
“Having access to facilities when they are most needed is important to our health,” said Jerilyn Stapleton, President of California NOW. “We shouldn’t have to wait or postpone having our needs fairly met in public. Everyone should experience equal waiting time. We have universal bathroom access at home and on airplanes so why not require it in public buildings?”
AB 1732 now moves to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature or veto before the end of September.
For more information, go to http://www.eqca.org/1732-2/.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org