California Governor signs gender-neutral bathroom law
The Governor of California has signed a law which designates any single-stall toilet facility in the state as gender-neutral.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on Friday.
It makes it compulsory for businesses and governments to designate any bathroom with a single stall as gender-neutral, as well as posting a sign on each to display that it is gender-neutral.
The changes are required by 1 March 2017.
Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting, of San Francisco, brought forward the bill.
He described it as one of the most comprehensive bathroom access laws in the US, and said it will “chart a new course of equality for the nation.”
“This simple concept is oddly cutting-edge when compared with the discrimination being enacted in other states,” Ting said this week.
The new California law comes amid a national debate around transgender protection laws and the rights of trans people to use gender-appropriate bathrooms.
The state of California also this week restricted official travel to North Carolina over the state’s anti-LGBT law.
Governor Brown signed a bill that prohibits state agencies from compelling their employees to travel to states with laws that allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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The law also specifically bans state-funded travel to North Carolina over the controversial HB 2.
North Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
McCrory has continued to insist the rules are “common sense”, but a string of major employers are boycotting the state over the attack on the rights of their LGBT employees.
A projected cost of the battle so far, totting up the economic losses and legal costs, reaches a mind-blowing $395 million
It is the fifth state to take action to boycott North Carolina.
Also this week, Governor Brown signed a law requiring education about HIV-preventing drugs.