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Denver’s gender-neutral bathroom rule takes effect Monday

Author: Adam McCoy - April 30, 2018 - Updated: April 30, 2018

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(Photo by photo_chaz, istockphoto)

Monday’s the deadline for Denver businesses to convert their public single-occupant and family bathrooms into gender-neutral stalls.

Last fall, we told you about the new Denver rule that mandates non-gendered signage for single-stall and family bathrooms. In addition to the signage, the measure, approved last year by the Denver City Council, stipulates single-use facilities be lockable from the inside.

Many businesses are likely already up to code with the rule. But for owners not in compliance, the change might be as simple as adding a new sign, the city says. The rule won’t affect multiple-stall or portable bathrooms.

The city said last fall it noticed many property owners were already adopting the new signage requirements. However, those found out of compliance with the rule after Monday should expect an initial warning to comply within 30 days, according to the city. After that, Denver will seek “any appropriate remedy allowed by the Denver Building and Fire Code.”

Denver’s Denver’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Commission first suggested the non-gendered signage as the city was discussing an update of its building code in 2016, according to Denverite. The city noted last fall the measure was crafted in the spirit of inclusivity and equality.

“Many local businesses have long opted for more inclusive signage, because ensuring equal access to restrooms for all users achieves parity in bathroom wait times and removes barriers for members of our community who are transgender, gender-nonconforming or non-binary; need the assistance of a caregiver of a different gender; or need to accompany a child of a different gender to the restroom,” the city said.

Denver is joining other cities like Seattle, Washington, and Austin, Texas, which have adopted mandates requiring some form of gender-neutral restroom signage.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.