“All-gender” bathroom bill heads to Calif. governor

From The Sacramento Bee

By Anshu Siripurapu

The day after a federal judge blocked the Obama administration’s guidelines regarding bathroom access for transgender students, a bill requiring single-user bathrooms in California to be labeled “all-gender” cleared its final legislative hurdle and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

Assembly Bill 1732, by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, passed the Assembly 53-13 Monday, after clearing the Senate last week.

Ting’s bill requires that all single-user restrooms “in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency” be labeled as “all-gender.”

“This law is a simple measure that will make everyone’s lives easier,” Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, which sponsored the bill, said in a statement Monday. “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.”

The bill’s passage comes as both state and federal authorities grapple with the issue of allowing people to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

“Today we have an opportunity to show California leading the way yet again,” Ting said on the Assembly floor.

The bill moved through both houses mainly along party lines with three Republicans voting for the bill the first time it passed the Assembly in May. During that debate, Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, argued that the status quo was fine and that the bill could force women to suffer a “pee-seat” if men had used the bathroom first.

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