5/25/2023 An Update Regarding
HB1286: Multi-Stall, Co-ed Public Restooms
Rep. Katie Stuart (D-112) sponsored HB 1286: multi-stall co-ed bathroom with open air urinals with partitions.
This legislation allows builders to build gender-neutral, multi-stall restrooms. In the original version of this bill, urinals could be built with “partitions” in a multi-stall public restroom. No specs on the partitions.
Passed both houses, but not before the Senate made some changes.
The urinals: There were obvious safety concerns with open air urinals with small dividers in a gender-neutral, multi-stall bathroom. Allowing young girls to be exposed to male genitalia is not appropriate. Many Illinois residents agreed and contacted their representatives. In response, the senate took out all mention of urinals for this legislation.
Other safety measures: The senate also clarified that the stalls be completely enclosed from floor to ceiling.
The takeaway: This legislation was poorly written and clearly had safety concerns. While Rep. Stuart dismissed her constituents safety concerns, at least the Senate listened to the public. While the changes from the senate were appreciated, this legislation continues to have safety concerns. In a completely enclosed stall, if someone passes out or if someone is being attacked, there will be no way of getting to the person or people inside the stall.
The legislation also clearly states that a sex-specific bathroom cannot be right next to a gender-neutral bathroom. When pressed with this information, Rep. Stuart denied this several times while meeting with her constituents. She told her constituents that this was misinformation and not true. However, Rep. Stuart finally admitted to her fellow colleagues (while in session) that sex-specific bathrooms could not be next to a gender-neutral bathroom. The legislation has always been clear regarding this topic.