• Signs of the times. (Flickr, Mike Gifford, Creative Commons)Source: Flickr, Mike Gifford, Creative Commons
The US state of California is pushing ahead with legislation for all single-occupancy toilets to be rebranded as “all gender”.
Mikey Nicholson

7 Apr 2016 - 2:06 PM  UPDATED 7 Apr 2016 - 2:09 PM

California could become the first state in the US to introduce all gender bathrooms. While various cities across the US support similar measures, this would be the first state-wide law to address bathroom genders. The AB 1732 Bill, which would enforce all single-occupy bathrooms to be all gender inclusive, this week passed unanimously with bipartisan support at the committee stage. 

The bill's author, San Franciscan assembly member Phil Ting, said in a statement to the media that the unanimous support for this bill shows California is ready to lead the nation in change

“Restrooms access influences our ability to participate in public life. It defies common sense to restrict access to single-user restrooms by gender. ‘All gender’ signs will ensure that everyone’s rights are protected by ending problems of convenience, fairness, and safety,” Ting said.

While there are obvious benefits for transgender and non-gender conforming people, these toilets will also allow those who rely on opposite sex carers to assist with bathroom duties in a far more comfortable setting.

Why bathrooms are the last LGBTQI battleground
As the few remaining roadblocks to LGBTQI equality crumble in the West, public bathrooms have become a powerful symbol for those opposed to legal protections for the sex and gender diverse community.

“This legislation helps everyone - from caregivers with children of a different gender, to the trans community whose basic human need is under attack in other states, to anyone who's had to stand in line to get into their restroom while the other one stands empty," said National Organization for Women San Francisco chapter president Somer Loen.

The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further review.