Leftist legislators in Vermont have proposed a bill in the state’s legislature that would require single-stall bathrooms in the state to be open to all people if the building in which the bathroom exists is open to the public, effectively outlawing many of the gender-specific bathrooms in Vermont.
According to the text of House Bill 333, “This bill proposes to require that any single-user toilet in any public building or place of public accommodation be identified as gender-free.”
The legislation would ban all forms of gender-specific bathrooms in the state, unless a bathroom has multiple stalls, including in public schools and private businesses.
“This legislation represents Vermont at its best, being a welcoming place, seeking greater equality and pushing back against the terrifying national trend that we’re seeing against trans people,” said Jay Diaz of the Vermont chapter of the ACLU, according to a report by WMUR-TV.
“Currently, when I am in need of a restroom, I often have single-use bathrooms already mapped out so that I don’t even have to worry about where to stop,” said Brenda Churchill, a person who identifies as transgender said at a committee hearing on the bill.
Supporters of the bill say transforming gender-specific single-stall bathrooms into gender-neutral facilities would cost very little money and provide all of Vermont’s citizens and visitors with access to safe bathrooms.
The Vermont bill is based on a law passed in 2016 in California that requires all public single-stall bathrooms to be gender-free.
The Associated Press reports the bill, which would force all businesses open to the public to comply, regardless of owners’ objections or religious views, has 37 sponsors, about 25 percent of all the representatives in the state’s House of Representatives.
The bill is expected to receive the full approval of the state legislature.