Parents' groups and a California lawmaker are pushing for a statewide proposed legislation to ensure baby changing stations are available to both men and women in public facilities, in what they say is an effort to promote gender equality.
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Huntington Park/Long Beach, is backing SB 1350, also known as the Potty Parity for Parents Act, the first proposition of its kind in the country.
If passed, it would require baby changing stations to be installed in men’s restrooms if one is installed in an adjacent women’s restroom, according to a statement released Wednesday.
Also backing the bill are several moms, dads and equal rights groups.
“Anything that talks about fatherhood in a good way is something that I want to get behind,” said Doyin Richards, founder of daddydoinwork.com.
Richards, a father of two young girls, said installing baby changing stations in men’s restrooms should be common sense.
He splits parenting responsibilities with his partner and has resorted to changing his 1-year-old in the trunk of his car. A few times, a good Samaritan has held open the women’s restroom for him, allowing him to change his daughters on the changing table, he said.
"The drama we have to go through just to change a diaper is just ludicrous in this day and age,” he said. “When a kid has a blowout, there is no bigger deal to a dad.”
Currently, a broad regulation stands where restrooms are only required in public facilities "to meet the needs of the public at peak hours."
SB1350 would also require family restrooms with changing stations to be accessible to both men and women.