Cuomo Signs “Gender-Neutral Bathroom” Bill

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend Sandra Lee participate in the Gay Pride Parade in New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “gender-neutral bathroom” bill into law on December 23.
Reuters/ Keith Bedford

In an historic victory, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on December 23 making single-use restrooms statewide open to people of all genders.

Under the “gender-neutral bathroom” law or A.5240/ S.6479, all public spaces including restaurants, bars, and schools are required to remove sex-segregated signs like “male” and “female” from single-occupancy restrooms. This legislation is another move to end discrimination and harassment against trans and non-binary people across the state.

Out gay Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, representing the 69th District on Manhattan’s West Side, introduced the bill in 2017. State Senator Julia Salazar of Brooklyn was the bill’s co-sponsor.

In a tweet, O’Donnell praised the measure’s enactment, saying this is a step forward in improving the lives of trans and nonbinary New Yorkers.

“This isn’t just about restrooms,” wrote O’Donnell in the tweet. “It’s about transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary peoples’ right to be themselves anywhere in New York State.”

A group that endorsed O’Donnell in past elections also took to Twitter to offer their support.

“Elections matter,” wrote the Stonewall Democratic Club, a citywide LGBTQ political club, in a tweet. “The rights of trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary ppl are human rights. Thank you, Julia and Danny, for being human rights champions.”

New York now joins several other states including California and Illinois, which adopted similar legislation. The New York City Council passed a similar mandate in 2016..

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