PHILADELPHIA: Mayor Signs Law Requiring Gender-Neutral Restrooms In Some Businesses

Under a law signed today by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, businesses that have single-stall restrooms must make them open to all customers. CBS News reports:

You can stop trying to figure out which bathroom to use if you’re at a bar or restaurant in Philadelphia that has single occupancy restrooms. They’ll all be gender-neutral, under a law signed today by Mayor Nutter. The law was proposed by the Office of LGBT Affairs to ease the discomfort of transgender people. Director Nellie Fitzpatrick says they can face stress, anxiety and even mistreatment when using gendered bathrooms. “Providing access to a private, non-gendered, all-inclusive bathroom can simply reduce the stress of using the restroom,” Fitzpatrick told KYW Newsradio. Mayor Nutter says it will also benefit families and the elderly who may need help using restrooms.

Philadelphia’s Office Of LGBT Affairs was voted into permanence earlier this month in a public ballot. The agency, the only one of its kind in the nation, had earlier existed by a mayoral executive order. (Tipped by JMG reader Paul)

  • bkmn

    It won’t be long before women are complaining about guys peeing everywhere and leaving the toilet seat up.

    • DaddyRay

      From what I hear womens public restrooms are worse than mens

      • BearEyes

        I worked as a janitor during one of my college years.
        The answer is yes. Why/how so much toilet paper gets tossed on the floor and the sink is incredible to me.

        • sw42

          In fairness, penis owners usually just give ’em a shake and it’s done. No toilet paper required.

          • Disqusdmnj

            Until the prostate decides to make itself known!

          • clay

            by abandoning its post

          • Derrick Johns

            Oh, how painfully true. You don’t believe it can happen to you until you get into your late fifties. Drip, drip, drip. That gland used to help make a lot of fun….now, the prostate aint no pal of mine.

          • Disqusdmnj

            Started for me fairly recently, about 42, 43. So I either pee sitting down, or blame the sink for the stains.

            I choose sitting down, because I’m lazy, it’s comfortable, and I can catch up on news!

          • McSwagg

            Be Careful. In many jurisdictions, two shakes is considered to be solicitation, and with three shakes, you can be charge with perpetrating a lewd act.

          • Mark Lewis

            The first couple of shakes literally mean business.

        • BobSF_94117

          Women’s restrooms are messier. Men’s are dirtier.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          Another former janitor chiming in here, and yes, it’s true.

      • bkmn

        That won’t stop the complaints.

      • Happy Dance

        I used to manage a restaurant in San Antonio on the riverwalk. I have to say that the women’s room was so nasty. Women sticking their winged pads with body fluids on them to the walls, tampons in the floor, toilet paper all over the floor. It was really disgusting the things I saw!!

    • sandy

      maybe just be a nice person and put the toilet seat up. it’s gross whatever your sex.

  • MBear

    Phil’delphia: where roving bands of white, christian, heterosexual terrorist thugs mercilessly beat innocents…? I guess we can hide in a gender-neutral restroom?

    • friendlynerd

      Oh god, stop. More like Philadelphia: where the citizens cared enough to collaborate in an online manhunt to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Bad shit happens everywhere and I’m very proud of our response.

      • Randy Ellicott

        Thank you was about to say that as well, in what other city where a gay bashing has occurred have we seen such a fast, complete, accurate and widespread social media slapdown. Ordinary Philadelphians looking out for other Philadelphians.

      • Bj Lincoln

        The public did come together and found them quickly because their are more caring people than ass holes.

      • MBear

        Points taken, but my narrative is to repeat the terms ‘white, christian, heterosexual terrorist thugs’ (or as many combinations/variations therof) to remind the mundanes that most terrorists in the US look & believe just like them. 🙂

        As for stopping: not gonna, sugar.
        have a nice day

  • i really don’t get bathroom paranoia. it seems silly and childish. and speaking of children, anyone who’s cared for one will tell you how nice it is to have sensible bathroom options. men change diapers too, and have girls.

    • Belthazar

      I’m so with you about the bathroom paranoia but I think it is more about an (not so subtle) attack on LGBT rights using a misunderstood and marginalized group to do it.

      • oh, i get that part. that’s part of the meanness of xtianity; always hate on any LGBT anything.

        i just mean the genuine fear some of them have if a T person uses a stall. mostly, people don’t think men who take little girls and a bag into a men’s room (many now have changing stations) are automatically pedos. i don’t know why they can’t see the idiocy of freaking out over Ts taking a pee.

    • hudson11

      spot on! everyone has a co ed bathroom at home. this ought not be a big deal.

      • GC

        Even when visiting friends or relatives, nobody cares about getting boy cooties or girl cooties from the toilet.

    • TheManicMechanic

      The people bring about this fear campaign are themselves childish. They found a particular combination of circumstances that stirs up their kind when it comes to an issue they don’t like, and they drill it into the ground until it loses its effectiveness.

  • David From Canada

    Uh-oh! Wait till the opposition finds out that the mayor’s last name is Nutter……..

    • GC

      On the whole he hasn’t lived up to his name.

  • oikos

    For our resident trolls, the good mayor is a Dem. More proof that both parties are exactly alike.

    • kaydenpat

      Interestingly, he’s also the same denomination as our crazy Republican Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.

    • GC

      Philadelphia’s residents are overwhelmingly Democratic. Generally the Democratic primaries are the “real” contested elections.

      Out of ten City Council districts, only one has a Republican councilmember, and two other Republicans are serving only because two of the at-large seats are reserved for minority party candidates.

    • Christopher Smith

      Would that be……sarcasm?

      • oikos

        Indeed it was.

  • d.

    I believe that gender-neutral bathrooms is one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ask that third bird of the Apocalypse guy, what’s-his-name. He’ll know.

    • DaddyRay

      It clearly states it in the Buy-Bull

    • Marc

      Pisstilence

      • d.

        That’s it. From The Gospel of the John, section 4: 13-15.

    • bkmn

      Herr Trump-ler?

      • d.

        No, no, the guy who is always making the videos, you know, he always wears a shirt.

        • bkmn

          The eagles of the apocalypse nutjob.

          • d.

            That’s him. Ole what’s-his-name.

    • BobSF_94117

      Not one horseman, two. Number One and Number Two.

    • Mark Lewis

      It’s obviously not Famine; I doubt he’s taken a shit in eons.

  • sw42

    Trangender people face “even mistreatment”? – is that a euphemism for occasional assault or death? Aside from this, good for Philadelphia. Also does this mean Houstonians aren’t allowed in Philadelphia?

  • TreGibbs

    Mr. Nutter is pretty easy on the eyes…

  • Stubenville

    Finally a bit of good news from Philadelphia.

    (FYI, Mayor Nutter is a lame duck, with a bit more than a month to serve. Philly has term limits for the Mayor.)

  • friendlynerd

    I’m going to miss Nutter, I really am. I think Philadelphia owes him more gratitude than he ever gets.

    • clay

      Eight years ago he was the “smart” candidate.

      • friendlynerd

        I think on the balance he’s lived up to it. The fact that city council hates him makes me like him more, since city council deserves to be collectively thrown out on their asses.

        • clay

          Kenney has “self-deported”.

      • David Milley

        Still is. I think Nutter’s going to be much more appreciated in about ten years, when people start catching on to all the good he’s done in Philly.

        • clay

          well, except for the “candidate” part

          • David Milley

            Oh yeah, _that_! (as Dave stubs his toe on the obvious point … )

  • marshlc

    This is so simple, so cheap, makes no difference to those who never face any problems about which bathroom to use, and makes a world of difference to those who do.

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  • Disqusdmnj

    Was just at The Smith restaurant in NYC – granted, that’s a bastion of ill-repute… but all they had were doored-off stalls and sinks. Totally private, no urinals… no big deal.

    Granted, the ladies might not be prepared for the gastro disasters common in men’s bathrooms, but I’ve heard the other side isn’t much better. Certainly not like we all haven’t been through the same at some point or other.

    • Stubenville

      The Terrace 5 cafe at the Museum of Modern Art has the same logical setup; truly private stalls with floor-to-ceiling walls and real doors, and a common area with sinks. Why is this so @#$%^& hard for everyone else to figure out?

      • Octavio

        Aren’t all of the Starbucks in NYC gender neutral? They are here in Las Vegas and every one I’ve been to in California. Even Starbucks in Utah have gender neutral bathrooms.

      • Disqusdmnj

        Technically, from a building/construction/architecture standpoint, that kind of setup probably does require more space be taken up, or less productive space be used leading to longer wait times. To an extent, for sure… we’ve all seen times when the lines are so long, having an extra stall or urinal or two would hardly make a difference.

        While not the typical environment, I remember my freshman dorm in 1987 had specific men’s and women’s rooms on our floor… until 10 or 11pm, that is, at which time we went wherever was closest – that was the deal everyone agreed to. No one could care less about it, but then again we were late teens away from home with raging hormones.

        Man, those were the days… 😜

  • VodkaAndPolitics

    Maybe I spend too much time on my little all gay Island of Wilton Manors. I haven’t looked at the sign on the bathroom door in years. Also, I live close enough to the Drive to go use my own commode if nature calls.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    It’s only common sense. Everyone has a bladder.
    Everyone needs access to a restroom every now and then.
    Good job Mayor Nutter.

  • BobSF_94117

    I’ve never understood why the single-user, ADA compliant* bathrooms don’t have urinals. It would save water and eliminate the whole lid-up / lid-down problem.

    * which makes them really big

  • franklinb23

    Single use. Somehow, someone will still be offended.

  • TheManicMechanic

    In places like restaurants and small shops that have two single-occupancy rooms (as opposed to rows of stalls in each) this makes sense. Only one person can be in at a time, the door gets locked, so why declare such rooms for one sex only? The solution isn’t as easy when the rooms are multiple occupancy, though.

    • sandy

      all restrooms should be unisex. why do we need to separate everything by gender?

      • TheManicMechanic

        One of my medical facilities not too long ago changed their bathrooms to “unisex.” Since each one was an identical room, with a single toilet, urinal and sink, and a lockable door, it made no sense to have them labeled “Men” and “Women.” only thing changed was the signage on the doors, which now has the wording and universal pictograms for both men and women on the door. Now some places just won’t work, like sports arenas and other large public areas where each room holds several people at a time.

        • clay

          It’s true that urinals take less space and water than toilets, but putting everything in stalls cuts waiting in line in large public venues, as well.

  • James

    I don’t care as long as there is a urinal. If there is no urinal then I’m pissing in the sink.

    • marshlc

      OK, now I’m curious. Have you got a urinal at home, or a toilet? Or do you piss in the sink at your house?

  • David Walker

    Sorry. This makes too much sense.

  • anne marie in philly

    YAYZ!

    I was in a rather small restaurant in a suburb last month; single bathroom, no designation. on the PA turnpike, the redesigned rest stops have unisex bathrooms, as well as separate mens/ladies bathrooms.

  • Christopher Smith

    Fancy that. Actual common sense.

  • nipper

    Why is this a thing? I can think of numerous small eateries and clubs in NYC (and that ever evil Starbucks) that usually has one bathroom.

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