Highland Park designates single bathrooms as gender neutral

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Highland Park is taking a new approach to the issue of transgender people in public bathrooms.

All new single-occupancy bathrooms built in the northern suburb must now be designated as "gender netural" or "all-gender."

Officials say the policy is designed to accommodate the transgender community.

Access to bathrooms for transgender Americans has recently become a topic of intense scrutiny. Laws passed in North Carolina and Mississippi require transgender people to use restrooms that correspond to the gender assigned on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify or present as. More states are considering similar laws, including Illinois as well as Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

A federal appeals court overturned a Virginia school's ban barring a transgender student from using the boy's restroom, saying the ban is discriminatory. And Palatine Township School District 211 was cited by the U.S. Department of Education and ordered to allow a transgender student access to the girl's locker room and restrooms.