Vermont lawmakers hope a new law that requires single occupancy restrooms be marked gender neutral can serve as a model for the rest of the nation.
Republican Governor Phil Scott signed the bill Friday. The new law, passed with support from Vermont's three major political parties, is the most recent development in a national debate over whether individuals can be required to use toilet facilities corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate.
Representative Selene Colburn, a Progressive from Burlington and sponsor of the bill, said the new law would also benefit caretakers of the opposite gender who need to assist children, the elderly or the disabled.
Vermont, along with 18 other states and the District of Columbia, includes gender identity as a protected class in accommodation laws.
The Vermont bill passed with a large majority in the House and unanimous support in the Senate. The few no votes came from lawmakers who wanted an exemption for religious buildings.
The new law takes effect July 1.
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