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Long Beach to implement gender-neutral restrooms

Long Beach is in the process of implementing gender-neutral bathrooms for single-user restrooms as required by state law, the city announced today. Photo: Q Voice News staff.

LONG BEACH — Long Beach is in the process of making 120 city-owned, single-user bathrooms gender-neutral as required by state law, the city announced today.

AB 1732

This image shows the signage as mandated by law for gender-neutral bathrooms for single-user facilities.

State Assembly Bill 1732 mandates that all single-user toilet facilities in any business or public place must be identifiable for all-gender use with new, specific signage.

“Providing inclusive, safe, gender-neutral restrooms is an important step forward for Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “It is important that all people feel valued and respected as a vital part of our diverse community.”

The law, which went into effect March 1, doesn’t give a timeline for compliance for existing city-owned facilities.

Long Beach is in the process of installing the required signs on the specific single-user public bathrooms,  said Jacqueline Medina, spokeswoman with Long Beach Development Services.

COMPLIANCE, ENFORCEMENT

The city will enforce the law for businesses based on complaints, she said.

The city will, however, verify compliance for all new construction or rehabilitation projects with single-user bathrooms on a case-by-case basis as applications are reviewed by the city, Medina said.

Porter Gilberg, executive director with the Long Beach LGBTQ Center, welcomed the news.

“The Center thanks the City for their efforts to educate business owners and ensure compliance of this state law,” he said. “We were in communication with the city before the law went into effect to make sure it was on their radar. Like all LGBTQ happenings in the city, we made sure to follow up as they were planning implementation.”

A website has been setup regarding the city’s gender-neutral restrooms.

SIGNAGE

The required unisex signage is a geometric triangle and circle. The triangle should contrast with the circle, either light on a dark background or dark on a light background.  No pictogram, text, or Braille is required on the symbol.

 

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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