Illinois General Assembly 2023

Illinois All-Gender Bathroom Bill Awaits Gov. Pritzker's Signature

The bill would allow, but not require, businesses the option to create all-gender, multi-occupancy bathrooms

Legislation that would allow businesses the opportunity to create multi-occupant bathrooms open to all genders has passed both the Illinois House and Senate.

As the general assembly attempted to wrap up its 2023 spring session last week, tempers flared on the Senate floor during a slew of Democratic-led measures, including an amendment to one bill that would permit businesses to create all-gender bathrooms, if they choose.

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, according to a report from The Daily Herald.

On 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. "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."

All-gender restrooms would be required to include specific signage, stall dividers and partitions for urinals, as stated in the bill.

The amended version passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker's approval.

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