Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill on Thursday that would provide access to gender-neutral bathrooms across the city. The bill would require private businesses to make single-stall bathrooms accessible to everyone regardless of gender identification. It would not apply to multi-stall facilities.
“This doesn’t mandate a creation of separate bathrooms,” Squilla said. “This doesn’t make somebody have to put additional bathrooms in their establishments. All this does is say that if you have these single-use bathrooms, they can be used by either gender.”
Former Councilman Jim Kenney sponsored a bill two years ago requiring single-stall bathrooms in city facilities to be gender-neutral. Kenney is now the Democratic nominee for mayor in the November election.
The bill was introduced for Mayor Michael Nutter.
“This bill, which expands and strengthens gender-identity protections, is an important step in support of our LGBT community and reinforces Philadelphia’s role as a leader on LGBT issues across the country,” Nutter said in a statement. “I am proud that Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the nation to introduce this kind of legislation and I want to thank Councilman Squilla for introducing this bill on our administration’s behalf.”
If Council approves the bill, it will take effect 90 days after being signed by the mayor.