House narrowly passes bill allowing all-gender bathrooms
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Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House narrowly passed a bill Thursday that would allow businesses, universities and other building owners to designate multi-occupancy all-gender bathrooms if they choose to do so.
The bill passed on a vote of 60-40, the bare minimum number of “yes” votes needed for passage in the 118-member House, after the presiding officer held the roll open for several seconds waiting for the 60th vote to be recorded.
State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, who sponsored the bill, said the language of House Bill 1286 is identical to an earlier bill that passed 63-43 in the House in 2021 but was never taken up in the Senate.
Illinois law already allows for single-occupancy bathrooms to be designated for all genders, but Stuart’s bill would allow an all-gender designation for bathrooms that accommodate two or more people.
The bill sets out standards that all-gender bathrooms would have to meet, such as “inclusive signage” that does not indicate any specific gender; stall dividers with functioning locks controlled by the user; and partitions for each urinal, if urinals are present.
In addition, if such bathrooms are part of a newly constructed building or a building undergoing major renovation, they would have to comply with requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Accessibility Code. Each toilet stall would have to include a small trash receptacle, and it would have to have at least one vending machine for menstruation supplies and one baby diaper changing station.
The bill also provides that any multi-occupancy restroom could be converted to an all-gender restroom. But if another single-gender multi-occupancy restroom is located adjacent to or near the all-gender restroom, both would have to be designated as all-gender facilities.
The bill was just one of hundreds of bills the House has voted on this week as it nears a Friday deadline for most bills to pass out of the House and be sent to the Senate. The Senate has a similar deadline to send its bills to the House by next Friday, March 30.