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'All gender' bathroom bill meant to accommodate transgender people heads to Gov. Jerry Brown

A gender-neutral bathroom at Santee High School in Los Angeles. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
A gender-neutral bathroom at Santee High School in Los Angeles. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

A bill that would do away with "men's room" and "ladies' room" designations on single-occupancy bathrooms is now heading to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The measure would require businesses and public buildings to designate single-occupancy restrooms as "all gender," as opposed to specifically for men or women.

The bill's author, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), said such a change is more accommodating to transgender people, but also for parents needing to attend to their children or other family members.

"This simple bill allows single-room occupancy bathrooms to be convenient, to be fair and to really be equal for everybody," Ting said Monday afternoon on the Assembly floor.

The measure, AB 1732, builds on a 2013 California law that requires that students be allowed to use facilities and participate in activities such as sports teams based on their gender identity, instead of their biological sex.

"California is about to move our state forward, at a time where states like Kansas, North Carolina and even a judge in Texas are politicizing bathrooms," Ting said.

The issue of bathroom access for transgender people has become a flash point in recent years. In North Carolina, a controversial law requires people to use government-owned bathrooms and other facilities designated for their biological sex, even if that does not match their gender identity.

And on Monday, a Texas judge put a temporary halt to an executive order by President Obama that sought to expand bathroom access for transgender students.

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