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Illinois May Require Gender-Neutral Single-Occupancy Restrooms

Jeffrey Beall
Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
The Illinois General Assembly is considering a measure to require gender-neutral single-occupancy restrooms in public accommodations,

Illinois could become the third state in the nation to require that single restrooms in offices, restaurants and other public places be gender-neutral.

Similar laws are in place in California and Vermont.

“Right now the  Illinois Plumbing Code requires that if you have a single-occupancy restroom it be gendered. That doesn’t make sense anymore,’’ said Mike Ziri of qEuality Illinois, which lobbied for the change.

“Yes, it’s to affirm transgender individuals,  but it also affirms parents with opposite sex children who may need to use one of these single occupancy restrooms. It affirms older adult individuals who may have a caregiver.”  

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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