- Associated Press - Friday, October 9, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia is removing gender distinctions from single-occupancy public bathrooms, a move advocates say is a small step in eliminating harassment and discrimination of transgender people.

A bill unanimously approved Thursday by city council bars restaurants, businesses and other public places from restricting one-stall restrooms to a specific sex.

Mayor Michael Nutter’s Office of LGBT Affairs drafted the legislation and he is expected to sign it into law.

The office’s director, Nellie Fitzpatrick, says the only impact on business owners is removing signs saying, “men” or “women.” They’ll have 90 days to make changes or face fines up to $2,000.

The measure doesn’t apply to restrooms with multiple stalls.

Other cities have mandated gender-neutral restrooms, including Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington. New York City has considered a similar law.

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