Single-occupant restrooms at restaurants, bars and other public places in New York City will all be gender-neutral under a new law signed Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The bill, which requires that “men” and “women” signs on single-stall restrooms be replaced with ones indicating they are Gender Neutral is “yet another step toward becoming a place where all can live with dignity, free from fear and free from judgment,” the mayor said.
The legislation was designed with transgender/ gender non-conforming people in mind, though it could also benefit the women who get stuck in long lines while the men’s room is empty and parents tending to children of the opposite sex.
Similar legislation has been adopted in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., West Hollywood, and Austin, Texas .
The New York bill passed the City Council on a 47-2 vote last week and has met with little opposition.
“Most New Yorkers take their unfettered access to bathrooms for granted, yet every single day, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals must grapple with the fact that their choices may lead to harassment or worse,” City Councilman Danny Dromm
“Other places in the country are trying to divide Americans with small-minded things, such as who can use a restroom. We’re dedicated to accommodating all people in New York City,” speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.
Kevin Dugan, regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association, which has lobbied against previous bills like the one requiring chain eateries to post calorie counts, said he didn’t expect the bathroom law to hurt business.
This piece of legislation was personal for me because for almost a year this has been my project. I saw it thru the legislative process and advocated for it. Read The Text of 871-A