Highland Park set to OK gender-neutral restroom signage in city buildings
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and the city council are expected to designate single-occupancy restrooms as gender neutral within city facilities at their next meeting today.
The Committee of the Whole had agreed unanimously at a recent meeting that the city should take action to ensure that anyone who uses public restrooms can choose the facilities that most closely align with their gender.
“This initiative was the result of conversations with a number of individuals in the community, particularly youth,” Rotering said. “I am proud to work with a team of elected officials and staff who are sensitive to the challenges and issues faced by individuals who do not identify with binary gender identities. This initiative builds on Highland Park’s history of being a safe and welcoming community.”
When Illinois passed its Human Rights Act in 2015, it became illegal to block access to public facilities based on a person’s sexual orientation or identification. If Highland Park’s proposal carries, the initiative will be supported more clearly with signage in city buildings.
While private companies are not required to comply, the city is urging business owners to modify their facilities in accordance with city buildings.
The state’s current plumbing code requires that if two restrooms are available, one must be assigned to men and the other to women. The city intends to pursue new signage for single-stall facilities, clearing the way for individuals to choose facilities most closely aligned with their gender expression.
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