Updated: May 21
On May 19, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved the Gender Inclusive Restroom Act, which would make all single-stall restrooms in public places non-gender-specific. Representative John Edwards, the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a statement, “Gender-specific restrooms can cause a great deal of anxiety for members of the transgender community…. This bill would simply strip single-user bathrooms of any gender designation, which will go a long way toward improving the mental health of members of the transgender and nonbinary community.”
The act will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, May 24 at 4pm. LGBTQ Action RI is calling for testimony in support of this bill (S 0755). Sign up by 4pm on Sunday to testify by phone. Written testimony must be submitted by 2pm on Monday. Here are instructions for doing both: http://status.rilegislature.gov/documents/agenda-17444.pdf
LGBTQ Action RI suggests emphasizing that this act will label all single-user restrooms in buildings of public accommodation as gender neutral, benefitting transgender and non-binary Rhode Islanders, as well as parents of small children, and anyone who may need assistance in the restroom.
Note: This article previously included a call to action for bill supporters to urge Senate Judiciary Chair Cindy Coyne to schedule a hearing for this bill, and was updated on May 21 to include information about the scheduled Senate hearing.