H 5741, An Act Relating to Health and Safety – State Building Code, is a common-sense update to Rhode Island building code which would allow single-use bathrooms in places of public accommodation to be labeled “restroom” rather than restricted by gender.

This bill requires a simple signage change in existing single-use bathrooms, as well as to any single-use bathrooms yet to be built. This change serves three main functions:

Firstly, it guarantees that trans and gender-inclusive individuals have safe access to facilities they are able to comfortably use. This helps to protect them from potential harm and harassment.

Secondly, this helps Rhode Islanders with disabilities, who may need to be in the presence of a differently-gendered caretaker. This change enables them to have access to private facilities with the aid of their caretakers.

Finally, removing gender-based restrictions can reduce wait times and help in cases of medical need. There is no reason for someone who is in medical need of a private facility, such as a pregnant woman, to need to wait when there is an open single-use bathroom. This makes sure people could have faster access to restrooms.

This is a simple, easily-implemented change to the building code which would provide many benefits to many Rhode Islanders. GLAD is happy to be in support of such a bill.

Read GLAD’s Patience Crozier’s testimony here.

Read the full text of the Act here.