Capitol Alert

California lawmaker seeks ‘all-gender’ restrooms in public

The restrooms at Pancake Circus in Sacramento. A new bill would require businesses to identify any single-occupancy bathrooms as ‘all-gender.’
The restrooms at Pancake Circus in Sacramento. A new bill would require businesses to identify any single-occupancy bathrooms as ‘all-gender.’ lsterling@sacbee.com

Is the era of bathroom signs with stick figures in pants and dresses coming to a close in California?

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, is pursuing legislation to eliminate separate single-occupancy restrooms for men and women. Under Assembly Bill 1732, businesses, government buildings and other public spaces in the state would be required to identify any toilet facility that can only be used by one person at a time as “all-gender.”

In a statement, Ting said the change would accommodate transgender people and others who do not identify as men or women.

“Signs restricting single-use restroom access by gender create problems of convenience, fairness and safety,” he said. “They defy common sense, which is why many of us ignore them.”

California has already fought one big battle over bathrooms in recent years.

In 2013, the state passed a bill from former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, allowing public school students to use facilities such as restrooms, showers and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Opponents decried the law as a violation of privacy, but they have failed twice to qualify measures to overturn the policy at the ballot box.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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