4/5/16: Bill tearing down men's, women's restroom signs advances

SAVECALIFORNIA.COM NEWS RELEASE

April 5, 2016 -- For Immediate Release

California bill eliminating men's/women's restroom signs advances
"If familiar 'men' and 'women' restroom signs are torn down, people will ask 'who did this?'"

Sacramento, California -- A leading family values organization in California warns that "men" and "women" restroom door signs, and even "boys" and "girls" door signs could eliminated if a radical, transsexual agenda bill becomes law.

Today in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, 11 Democrats and 3 Republicans joined together to pass AB 1732, which replaces "men," "women," "boys" and "girls" signs on the doors of lockable, single-person restrooms at all private businesses and all "places of public accommodation."

"This means 'sex change' symbols and pro-transsexuality phrases such as 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' on many restroom doors up and down California," said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which promotes moral virtues for the common good, who testified against AB 1732 in committee. "If familiar 'men' and 'women' restroom signs are torn down, people will ask 'who did this?'"

Voting "yes" for AB 1732 were all 14 of the committee's Democrats: Rudy Salas, Richard Bloom, Ken Cooley, Bill Dodd, Susan Eggman, Mike Gatto, Jimmy Gomez, Chris Holden, Kevin Mullin, Philip Ting, and Jim Wood.

Three of the committee's five Republicans also voted "yes": Catharine Baker, Rocky Chávez, and Brian Dahle. Dahle later said he hadn't realized the bill would tear down men's and women's door signs and erect pro-transsexuality signs, and said he may vote no on the Assembly floor. Republicans William Brough and Brian Jones were missing from both the AB 1732 hearing and subsequent vote on the bill.

AB 1732 now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Following is Randy Thomasson's testimony to the committee:

Mr. Chairman and Members,

My name is Randy Thomasson and I am president of Campaign for Children and Families, representing parents and grandparents in California.

This bill would result in unforeseen problems and unexpected consequences, is uncaring to women and children, and is unnecessary.

AB 1732 would cause numerous problems, for example:

For the businesses that must have restrooms -- such as food service or gas stations -- must they now pay to install men's urinals in current women's restrooms? For the bill includes "urinal" in its definition of "single-use toilet facility."

But of greater impact is this bill would allow businesses that must have restrooms to go from two restrooms to one restroom in order to save time and money. For these small businesses, they will choose subtracting on public restroom in order to save costs on installation, repair, supplies, cleaning and inspection.

Because wherever the current law says restrooms and is not clear on two restrooms, this bill may well motivate -- and certainly allows -- the number of restrooms in a business or other private entity to go from two to one. Where "women's" restrooms are distinct from "men's" restrooms and vice versa, under this bill, only one "all gender" restroom would suffice. This would especially be a financial consideration for small businesses when they start up or move.

And for businesses where public restrooms are an option, not a mandate, it will be not only the financial expense of complying with the law but the transgender controversy. They may choose not to have public restrooms at all and post a sign saying so.

In this very real way, AB 1732 would likely lessen the number of public restrooms in California, the very opposite of the author's intent and demonstrating this bill does not make sense.

In addition, since AB 1732 leaves intact other provisions in the law requiring separate restrooms for men and women, it will cause confusion among businesses, regulatory inconsistencies, and more lawsuits.

For example, Business and Professions Code, Section 13651 requires that service stations in urban or suburban areas "shall include separate facilities for men and women." What happens to this law and what do service stations do under AB 1732?
 
Health and Safety Code, Section 118500 says public agencies must provide restrooms "for each sex." What happens to this law if under AB 1732?

And what about Cal/OSHA Title 8 regulations? Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders, Article 3, Section 1526 reads "A minimum of one separate toilet facility shall be provided for each 20 employees or fraction thereof of each sex." How many sexes are there now for which construction sites must provide separate toilet facilities?

And the human factor, especially involving the interests of women and children, cannot be ignored.

This bill would produce discomfort and conflicts among the general population.

Associated Press reports that the author acknowledges "his bill would prevent businesses with single-person restrooms from maintaining separate -- cleaner -- spaces for women to avoid the messier habits of men." This is why women have more to lose under this bill.

If this proposal becomes law, the familiar "men," "women" "boys" and "girls" signs will be required to be torn down in many locations in California. Because these signs are so familiar and expected, people will be surprised and angry and will ask "who did this?"

Consider the long-time patrons of a business establishment, who still remember which door is the women's and which is the men's. When someone who looks like a man darts ahead of them to get the traditional women's room, an argument could arise. When someone who appears to be a woman steps ahead of them to be next in the men's room, this too could spark conflict.

And in light of polls showing the general public understands the biological differences between male and female, removing the familiar "men," "women" "boys" and "girls" signs makes the issue not about perceived "fairness" but about pushing controversial and even objectionable values in the faces of parents and grandparents who are sensitive to what their children are being taught. The outcome? More conflict. Again, if this bill becomes law, expect many people to ask "who did this?"

Additional conflicts will arise because AB 1732 does not define "place of public accommodation" and AB 1732 does not contain a religious exemption.

Federal law, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, says the only places of public accommodation are private entities. Under AB 1732, which private entities are included and which are excluded? Small businesses, home businesses, religious businesses, schools, church schools, churches -- where in the bill does it say who is included and who is exempt? Where is the religious exemption?

If the Legislature wanted to pass a legitimate and much less controversial accommodation of a public restroom request, it could pass "Ally's Law" to require retail establishments to give someone with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or some other verified medical condition affecting the bowels access to an employee restroom if there is no public restroom immediately available, if there are at least two or three employees working at the time, and the facility itself or its location will not pose a safety hazard to the person or security risk to the business. California has not passed "Ally's Law," but more than a dozen states have.

Lastly, AB 1732 is unnecessary. The burden of proof is on the bill itself, which has failed to justify this unnecessary proposal. If there is a unisex restroom or both a men's and a women's restroom -- a person who identifies as transgender can use a restroom. That is the same opportunity for everyone else -- they can wait for a restroom. There should not be special rights or allowing someone to cut in front of the line. If someone's in the men's restroom, you have to wait your turn; if someone's in the women's restroom, you wait your turn. If you can't wait but have an emergency, go outside to a nearby business and use or ask to use their restroom. These are the traditional and unwritten "rules" that everyone is expected to abide by.

In conclusion, AB 1732 is overly broad and vague, will result in unexpected negative consequences, is insensitive to especially women and children, will cause conflict and confusion, and is unnecessary. We urge your "no" vote.

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SaveCalifornia.com is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization standing strong for moral virtues for the common good. We represent children and families in the areas of marriage and family, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, financial freedom, and back-to-basics education.