New Jersey mayor orders city restrooms to be gender-neutral

By Susan McFarland  |  April 25, 2018 at 2:42 PM
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April 25 (UPI) -- The mayor of Hoboken, N.J., introduced a gender-neutral restroom bill Wednesday -- that, if successful, would make the city the first in the state to establish such a law for non-government facilities.

Mayor Ravinder Bhalla's effort comes after a number of other U.S. cities and states have weighed in on the matter over the last two years.

If approved by the city council, the city would require restrooms to be gender-neutral in time for the LGBT Pride Month in June. After the law goes into effect, restrooms in Hoboken would have 60 days to post the new signage.

The mayor's order already mandates that city-owned restrooms must be gender-neutral by May 31.

"This is a great step forward for the LGBTQ+ community and our great city," Bhalla tweeted.

"This is a chance for Hoboken to lead the state and the country in affirming the civil rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community," he added in a statement. "Frankly, this is a no-brainer, and I hope the Council will do the right thing and pass this ordinance unanimously."

Xavier Persad, legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said the order would allow everyone living and visiting Hoboken access to safe and inclusive public spaces.

"This new policy and the proposed ordinance reflect best practices being adopted in a growing number of municipalities across the country and send a clear message that Hoboken is open for all," Persad said.

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