Gov. McKee signs two LGBTQ+ bills into law

Mckee Signing

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Dan McKee ceremoniously signed two bills relating to LGBTQ+ rights into law Wednesday.

The first bill makes single-user restrooms in public places non-gender specific. All single-user restrooms in a public building must be made available for use by people of any gender by January 1, 2022. The bill also requires that all new construction of state and municipal buildings opened after July 1 of this year provide a single-user restroom for people of any gender.

“Gender-specific restrooms can cause a great deal of anxiety for members of the transgender community,” said Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), bill sponsor. “The reason for that anxiety is the verbal — and sometimes physical — harassment that many of them have experienced. This bill would simply strip single-user bathrooms of any gender designation, which will go a long way toward improving the mental health of members of the transgender and non-binary community.”

The second bill updates the definition of sexual orientation, to eliminate an exemption that allowed for housing discrimination based on gender identify or expression in owner-occupied buildings of three units or fewer.

The bills were signed at Youth Pride Rhode Island in Providence.

“I’m proud to sign these two pieces of legislation that will continue to make Rhode Island a more equitable and inclusive state,” said Governor Dan McKee. “With this legislation, we’re striving to make Rhode Island a better place – one step at a time.”

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Categories: News, Rhode Island