California leads other states with gender neutral bathrooms

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — While some states struggle over the bathroom access issue, California has moved in a different direction. 

The state has embraced the idea of making accommodations for all genders.

At Saint Paul Episcopal Church, there are bathrooms for men, bathrooms for women and there’s also a bathroom that is set aside as gender neutral.

The gender neutral toilet has become a common sight in California, where there are no laws that explicitly forbid a person from using a restroom that meets their gender identity.

Legal experts such a Jeff Wergeles, say California’s anti-discrimination laws have protected transgender people from the sorts of restrictions that are now in dispute in North Carolina.

On Monday, the State Assembly passed a bill that would require all single-stall bathrooms to be designated as all gender or gender neutral, open to anyone.

But as gay rights advocates broaden their fight to include the transgender community, opponents of these new measures claimed they are an invasion of privacy.

A group called, "Privacy For All" is a fierce critic of a law passed in California in 2013, a law that allows public school students to use any gender locker room, bathroom or play on a boy or girls’ sports team, regardless of their gender at birth.

Opponents say that law goes too far and violates a common sense expectation of privacy.

The head of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation said more architects are embracing the concept of the non-gender specific bathroom, which he said can benefit more than one group.

Opponents of that 2013 law tried to rally support to overturn it. Last year, the privacy for alliance group launched a signature drive to draft a measure similar to the one in North Carolina,  but failed to gather enough signatures. 

Categories: Local San Diego News