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Published On: Sun, Jul 28th, 2019

Democratic Gov JB Pritzker signs gender neutral bathroom law

Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill, known as the “Equitable Restrooms Act,” which would have all single-occupancy restrooms in “places of public accommodation” be labeled as gender-neutral.

The text of the law reads in part:

(b) This Section applies to any existing or future places of public accommodation or public buildings.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every single-occupancy restroom in a place of public accommodation or public building shall be identified as all-gender and designated for use by no more than one person at a time or for family or assisted use. Each single-occupancy restroom shall be outfitted with exterior signage that marks the single-occupancy restroom as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender.

(d) During any inspection of a place of public accommodation or public building by a health officer or health inspector, the health officer or health inspector may inspect the place of public accommodation or public building to determine whether it complies with this Section.

A “place of public accommodation,” according to the Illinois Human Rights Act, includes movie theaters, concert halls, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, clothing stores, laundromats, etc. Essentially anywhere people might use a restroom, this law will apply when it goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

photo Marcus Werthmann

The is the latest attempt to allow transgender individuals to use public restrooms designated to the gender with which they identify, as this only applies to single occupancy restrooms.

According to Equality Illinois:

As a general rule, you can use the restroom consistent with your gender identity. If confronted, you are not obligated to produce identification to prove your gender, and you are protected by public accommodations laws in Illinois.

The Illinois Human Rights Act reads in part: “It is a civil rights violation for any person on the basis of unlawful discrimination to … deny or refuse to another the full and equal enjoyment of the facilities, goods, and services of any public place of accommodation…”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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