Illinois General Assembly 2023

All-Gender Bathroom Bill Moves Closer to Becoming Law in Illinois

The bill would allow businesses the option to create all-gender, multi-occupancy bathrooms

As the Illinois General Assembly prepares to wrap up its 2023 spring session, tempers flared on the Senate floor Thursday during a slew of Democratic-led measures, including an amendment to one bill that would allow businesses the option to create all-gender bathrooms.

According to a report from The Daily Herald, House Bill 1286 would change current state law, which says that while single-occupancy bathrooms are automatically designated for all genders, multi-occupancy bathrooms must be designated as male or female.

HB1286 would modify that, and allow businesses the opportunity to create multi-occupant bathrooms open to all genders. While the measure had already passed the Illinois House earlier this year, state Senators on Thursday debated adding an amendment, which among other things would require such bathrooms to have "floor-to-ceiling" stalls with workable locks, and toilets instead of urinals.

Thursday, one Republican State Senator spoke out against the bill, saying that it could spark violence.

"I'm telling you right now. If a guy walks in there, I'm gonna beat the living piss out of him," said State Sen. Neil Anderson, of the 47th District Thursday. "Yeah. So this is going to cause violence, and it's going to cause violence from dads like me."

Democratic State Senator Mike Simmons of the 7th District said "hundreds" of his constituents have written in and phoned his office to support the legislation "so that Illinois will step into the 21st century."

Simmons added that the bill would be a step towards embracing "people who come from all genders, those that might be non binary, and those that may be gender non conforming those that may be LGBTQ+, such as myself and proudly so."

The amended version of the bill ultimately cleared the senate Thursday 35 to 20. It now heads back to the Illinois House.

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