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When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go Gender Neutral, Says West Hollywood

West Hollywood will now require public restrooms to be gender neutral, instead of designated for men or women.
West Hollywood will now require public restrooms to be gender neutral, instead of designated for men or women. | Photo: Sam Howzit/Flickr/Creative Commons

The city of West Hollywood joins the District of Columbia and Philadelphia this week in mandating that public restrooms are not designated for men or women, but are gender neutral. On Friday, an ordinance goes live that applies to all single-stall public restrooms in the city.

"Gender-specific restrooms can be unwelcoming and potentially unsafe for many people whose gender identity falls outside of traditional gender norms," said a press release from the city. The ordinance will benefit "transgender and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities or with personal attendants, people with children of a different gender," and anyone who has ever waited in line for a restroom while the restroom of the opposite gender was empty.

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The measure was introduced by councilmember Abbe Land and passed on June 23, 2014. Businesses have 60 days to comply with the measure in the city, population 34,000.

"Gender neutral restrooms are a step in the right direction that all cities can easily adopt and move forward to show respect and solidarity for transgender and gender non-conforming people as well as individuals from all walks of life," Land said in an email. "This ordinance continues the City of West Hollywood's longstanding tradition of thinking globally and acting locally."

For the record: An earlier version of this article misstated the dates the ordinance goes into effect and when businesses must comply. The ordinance goes into effect on January 15. Businesses will have to comply by March 15.

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