Vermont lawmakers have passed a bill that will require all single-user bathrooms in public buildings or places of public accommodation to be marked as gender-neutral. Gov. Phil Scott signed H.333 on Friday. It was introduced in the Vermont General Assembly in February 2017. The bill passed with a large majority in the House in April 2017, and then took a year to reach the Senate, where it passed unanimously.
"Two years ago, when I was running for governor, I was asked in a debate whether I would support gender-neutral bathrooms in public places or not," Scott, a Republican, said at the bill-signing ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. "I responded with a one-word answer, a simple yes. Because to me it was just that simple. Why wouldn't we do that? And now two years later I am honoured to be able to sign that legislation into law today."
According to the bill, "a single-user toilet may be identified by a sign, provided that the sign marks the facility as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender." Scott said, "This is especially important for kids in school who face anxiety and bullying over something as simple as using the restroom. Treating others in this way is not who we are as Vermonters, and I hope the signing of this bill will send a powerful message that that's not the way we act.
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