Gender-neutral bathroom bill heading to Gov. Grisham desk


    Gender-neutral bathroom bill heading to Gov. Grisham desk (Source: MGN Online)<p>{/p}

    Legislation that could add gender-neutral bathrooms to New Mexico has made it to the governor’s desk.

    House Bill 388, or the Gender-Neutral Restroom Act, passed through New Mexico’s Legislature and is awaiting a decision by Gov. Michelle Lujan- Grisham.

    The bill states that many existing or newly constructed, single-occupancy, public restroom be accessible regardless of gender identity.

    If Grisham signs the bill, any facility that provides services to the public must require “gender-neutral signage.”

    The bill specifies that private clubs and establishments do not apply to this bill.

    It also specifies that any facility that exists by July 1 does not have to construct a new, single-occupancy facility if it doesn’t already have one.

    One business owner in Las Cruces says that the bill is overdue.

    “I think it’s time to let people be people and not be as gender specific as we are,” Barb’s Flowerland owner Barb Baumann said.

    Another Las Cruces business owner questioned why a bill was even necessary.

    “It’s not my life, so if someone wants to live their life like that, OK,” Ride on Sports owner David Hill said. “That’s why we live in America, so I don’t need my life and the way I live it dictated to me.”

    Oscar Guerrero, a father in Las Cruces, raised the question of safety.

    “I feel like it could cause a problem as far as who exactly goes in there,” Guerrero said. “I feel like there could be some kind of abuse involved in it.”

    Another parent says if the bill is signed, she will continue to use the precautions with her child that she always does.

    “As a mom with a small child, you know parents accompany children to the bathroom ... . I wouldn’t change any of those practices,” Beatrice Davis said.

    If Grisham signs the bill, it will go into effect July 1.

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