Sen. Celina VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva championed legislation to allow businesses to create gender-neutral multi-occupancy restrooms.

“Businesses deserve the freedom to make their own decisions about how they want to be more inclusive to the community,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Inclusion and equality is at the heart of this measure.”

In January 2020, it became law that all single occupancy public bathrooms in Illinois become gender neutral.

House Bill 1286 simply expands on that law. However, the legislation is permissive – gender specific multiple-occupancy restrooms are still allowed. Moreover, multiple-occupancy all-gender restrooms will have to meet additional privacy safeguards. Any restroom designated for all genders must have specified signage and stall dividers.

“People who have disabilities, older adults, or anyone else who needs the help of someone of another gender can receive the assistance they need without having to search for a single occupancy restroom,” Villanueva said. “Or, think about the moms accompanying young boys, dads with young girls and parents with multiple kids. It’s easy to be unsure which restroom they should use.”

House Bill 1286 has passed in the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday.