Seattle City Council Passes All Gender Bathroom Law
City facilities and private businesses are being required to make existing and future single-stall restrooms all-gender facilities, the Seattle City Council passing the legislation on Monday, Aug. 10, based on recommendations from its LGBTQ Commission and Mayor Ed Murray’s LGBT Task Force.
“Everyone, regardless of gender, deserves the ability to meet their most basic needs. All-gender single occupancy bathrooms are practical and help ensure everyone has equal access to a quality life,” said Councilmember Jean Godden following adoption of the legislation. “This small step represents acceptance and freedom for many. I’m proud Seattleites are as dedicated as I am to pursuing equality and eliminating inequity wherever it exists.”
Murray on Friday signed the bill that requires all city-controlled facilities and businesses open to the public — coffee shops, restaurants, stores — to open their single-occupant restrooms to people of all gender identities rather than just men and women.
Jason Kelly, press secretary to the mayor’s office, said larger restrooms with more than one toilet would still be labeled for men and women, but people have the option of choosing which to use. This right has existed under a previous ordinance, but the newly adopted legislation clarifies this rule.
“That’s already been the rule under an existing city ordinance, but this new ordinance further clarifies that,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of incidents with harassment and even violence in regard to that.”
The city and businesses have 30 days from the passage of the legislation to comply.