GOP Vermont governor signs gender-neutral bathroom law
Vermont’s Republican governor has signed into law a gender-neutral bathroom measure that lawmakers are touting as a major victory for LGBTQ rights.
The bill, which was passed by a large majority in the state House last year and unanimously in the state Senate, requires that all single-user restrooms in public spaces be marked as “gender-free.”
Gov. Phil Scott, fulfilling a campaign promise, signed the bill into law on Friday and said that he hopes the bill will “send a powerful message,” particularly to kids “who face anxiety and bullying over something as simple as using the restroom” in schools, according to CNN.
“Vermont has a well-earned reputation for embracing equality and being inclusive,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
Brenda Churchill, a representative of Vermont’s LGBTQIA alliance, told Seven Days magazine that the new law, which goes into effect July 1, is a big step forward for all residents. It does not apply to bathrooms with more than one toilet.
“Every Vermonter will now have more opportunity to be able to use a bathroom,” she said.
The bill comes just over a year after President Trump rolled back Obama-era protections for transgender students that allowed them to use bathrooms that aligned with their gender identity.
Vermont, along with 18 other states and the District of Columbia, includes gender identity as a protected class in accommodation laws, according to the AP report.