October 14, 2021

CRAP applauds updated Chicago Plumbing Code that allows all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms

Among its provisions, ordinance will allow businesses and building owners to adopt gender-inclusive multiple-occupancy restrooms

CHICAGO – The Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP) applauds passage Thursday by the Chicago City Council of the plumbing code modernization ordinance that will allow businesses and building owners to adopt all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms if those entities want to do so to better serve their customers.

Ordinance 2021-4134, which passed the Chicago City Council Thursday, makes several changes to the Chicago plumbing code, including implementing the state’s 2019 law for all-gender single-occupancy restrooms. The ordinance will also allow businesses and building owners to implement all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms. This ordinance supports those businesses and building owners who want to serve their customer base better.

“Founded in 2015, the Community Restroom Access Project’s goal is passage of public policy to create affirming and safe spaces for all people who use public restrooms, including trans and gender-expansive folks,” said Phoenix Matthews, CRAP co-founder and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We are extremely pleased that this ordinance was proposed by Mayor Lightfoot and has successfully passed the Chicago City Council. It is very powerful to see what a small but determined group of stakeholders can help to accomplish. Now, we will renew our focus on passage of statewide legislation so all businesses in Illinois can best support their customers just like businesses in Chicago will soon have the option to do.”

This year, advocates have been working on statewide legislation to allow businesses to implement gender-inclusive multiple-occupancy restrooms. Sponsored by State Rep. Katie Stuart and State Sen. Melinda Bush, that bill – House Bill 3195 – passed the Illinois House in April and is pending in the Illinois Senate. Like the Chicago ordinance, HB 3195 will be of support to businesses who want to serve their customer base better.

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About Community Restroom Access Project (CRAP)
Founded in 2015 as a working group of Pride Action Tank (a project of the AIDS Foundation Chicago), CRAP includes individual members representing academia, public policy, public schools, and the legal field, as well as organizations such as AIDS Foundation Chicago and Equality Illinois.

About Equality Illinois
At Equality Illinois we envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We work hard to promote legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals; maintain the visibility of LGBTQ issues; oppose legislation which seeks to limit the civil rights of the LGBTQ community; and expand statewide grassroots support.