- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.— West Hollywood this week begins requiring gender-neutral restrooms under a law that aims to make those with a non-traditional “gender identity” more welcome.

The ordinance that takes effect on Thursday requires that restrooms with only one stall in restaurants, businesses and public places cannot restrict it to a specific sex either by signage or fixtures.

Existing businesses have 60 days to make changes, but new ones must heed the requirements immediately.

The Los Angeles suburb, which has a sizeable gay and transgender population, passed the ordinance in June. It doesn’t apply to multiple-stall restrooms.

“Gender-specific restrooms can be unwelcoming and potentially unsafe for many people whose gender identity falls outside of traditional gender norms,” said a city statement released this week.

The city said the law also will prove beneficial to “people with disabilities or with personal attendants, people with children of a different gender, and to the many people who have waited in line for a gender-specific restroom” when stalls for the opposite sex are empty.

A similar law was passed in 2006 in Washington, D.C. Philadelphia passed a measure in 2013 that requires new or renovated city-owned buildings to include gender-neutral bathrooms.

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