All-Gender Restroom Bill Introduced by County Councilmembers

Councilmember Sidney Katz and Council Vice President Evan Glass announced the introduction of an all-gender restroom bill, co-sponsored by councilmembers Will Jawando and Andrew Friedson.

Bill 4-22 would require an all-gender, single-user restroom to be available in public or county-owned facilities. The purpose of the bill is to increase accessibility for anyone to be able to use a single-user restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression. Under current legislation, a business owner or county-owned business can restrict a single-use restroom to just one specific gender – either male or female.

The bill would also benefit people with disabilities who might have caretakers of a different gender, or parents with young children of a different gender, if they require assistance when using the restroom. The council members believe the bill will also “decrease barriers, encourage full community inclusion, and strengthen dignity and personal safety,” as noted in a press release.

“This bill is supported by many advocacy groups including those representing the disability community and the LGBTQ community,” said Councilmember Katz, chair of the Public Safety Committee. “It is well reasoned and will not be burdensome to implement and will help everyone feel more comfortable.”

Baltimore City and Howard County have successfully implemented similar legislation. A public hearing for Bill 4-22 is tentatively scheduled for March 8, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.

“We want everyone in Montgomery County to feel welcome here,” said Council Vice President Glass, Montgomery County’s first LGBTQ+ Councilmember. “Members of our trans, nonbinary, and disability communities often feel anxious and ignored by the choices of restrooms in commercial spaces. This legislation will help provide ease and comfort to them and everyone.”

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