Illinois House Advances multiple-occupancy, Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill


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The Illinois House of Representatives has approved a measure that would allow businesses, universities, and other building owners to designate multi-occupancy, all-gender bathrooms. The bill, which amends the Equitable Restrooms Act, will now move to the Senate for further consideration.

Under current state law, all single-occupancy public restrooms must be available to all genders. However, the new bill would expand those requirements to include multiple-occupancy restrooms, which could be identified and designated as all-gender.

The bill also includes requirements for signage, stall dividers, and partitions for urinals in all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms. Additionally, any multiple-occupancy restroom could be converted into an all-gender multiple-occupancy restroom, and any newly constructed or previously existing restrooms may be designated as all-gender.

During inspections, health officers, health inspectors, or building inspectors may check whether a facility complies with the provisions. The Department of Public Health would be required to adopt rules to implement the provisions.

The bill’s sponsors include Reps. Katie Stuart, Anne Stava-Murray, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Lakesia Collins, Dagmara Avelar, Daniel Didech, Kelly M. Cassidy, Hoan Huynh, Maura Hirschauer, Lindsey LaPointe, Mark L. Walker, Barbara Hernandez, Kevin John Olickal, Laura Faver Dias, Ann M. Williams, Edgar Gonzalez Jr., Joyce Mason, Lilian Jiménez, Kam Buckner, Gregg Johnson, Aaron M. Ortiz, Jonathan Carroll, Terra Costa Howard, Margaret Croke, and Janet Yang Rohr.

Sen. Celina Villanueva is the Senate sponsor of the bill.

If passed into law, Illinois would join a growing number of states and municipalities that have adopted similar policies, including California, New York, and Washington, D.C. Supporters of gender-neutral restrooms say they promote inclusivity and respect for all individuals, including those who do not conform to traditional gender norms.

Opponents argue that such policies could compromise privacy and safety, particularly for women and children.

The bill has yet to be scheduled for a Senate vote.


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