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San Francisco gives all genders equal access to dirty diapers

Parents who have a hard time finding a sanitary baby changing station will soon have a number of places to choose from in San Francisco.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation that would require all city-owned buildings opened to the public to provide at least one diaper-changing station in the female restroom and one for the male restroom or provide a single diaper changing station available for all genders.

Supervisor Katy Tang’s legislation builds on a  federal law called the Bathrooms Accessible for Babies In Every Situation Act, signed by former President Barack Obama, that requires federal buildings to provide diaper changing stations for both female and male restrooms.

Tang’s legislation would also require existing businesses that provide a diaper-changing station in the female restroom need to also install one in the male restroom or provide a single diaper-changing station for all genders. Businesses would have 12 months to come into compliance.

New businesses that plan to install restrooms would also need to provide a diaper-changing station for the female and male restrooms or a changing station that all genders can access.

Existing and new public service establishments that make repairs or renovations of $50,000 or more in the restrooms, will need to provide at least one changing diaper station in the female and male restrooms or one for all genders.

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection would enforce the legislation and determine if a diaper changing station cannot be installed inside a business due to access issues for persons with disabilities.

Tang’s legislation said that it promotes gender quality by making sanitary diaper-changing stations available for men who may not be changing their babies diaper in a clean and sanitary environment:

“Making diaper-changing facilities equally accessible to men will help to secure and protect the health and safety of infants, and our population as a whole, while also encouraging a family-friendly environment in both public and private facilities.”

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