The state legislature is considering a bill to require one-person restrooms to be labelled “All Gender.” The California Assembly approved the bill (AB 1732) on May 9, 2016 and it is now before the Senate.

AB 1732 would prohibit businesses and government entities from labeling any “single-user toilet facility” as either “male” or “female.” It defines “single-user toilet facility” as “a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”

Copyright: karenr / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: karenr / 123RF Stock Photo

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said:

We just sent a powerful message to the nation. This is a simple, safe, and respectful alternative to the hate being legislated in other states. Restrooms are a necessity of life, making equal access to them a civil rights issue. Gender segregated access to a solitary restroom defies common sense. This bill moves us in a direction where everyone’s rights are respected and protected

Ting’s reference to the “hate being legislated in other states” is directed at North Carolina’s battle with the US Department of Justice over that state’s legislation requiring people to use the bathroom or changing room that corresponds to the sex stated on their birth certificate. That bill deals only with multiple-user restrooms and changing facilities.

California NOW has joined transgender groups in supporting the issue. Its President, Jerilyn Stapleton, explains that single gender restrooms require women to wait longer. “Everyone should experience equal waiting time.”

If passed, which seems likely, the bill will take effect on March 1, 2017.