On Monday, California sent a message to a certain other state that happens to be embroiled in a battle with the U.S. Justice Department, when its assembly passed a bill that would require all single-occupancy restrooms to be open to anyone, regardless of their gender or gender identity. In a statement, the bill’s sponsor pointed out that, “Restrooms are a necessity of life, making equal access to them a civil rights issue.” The bill passed on a 55-19 vote and will now be put to a vote in the California Senate, according to Reuters.
Although measures banning gender discrimination are already in place in much of California, this one goes further, saying that no public bathroom should be set aside for a single sex. In addition to barring discrimination, lawmakers point out the bill would also “cut down waiting time at single-occupancy public restrooms” because all bathrooms would be open to everyone. Way to level the playing field, California.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Monday that the Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina for the state’s refusal to disband its transphobic bathroom law. “This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms,” Lynch said. “This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them — indeed, to protect all of us.”