SACRAMENTO – California lawmakers, in a bid to let dads play a bigger parenting role in public, are pushing for baby-changing tables to be installed in men’s restrooms. They say the changes reflect shifting family dynamics, though the plan was criticized as yet another costly regulation on businesses.
Two bills that would require businesses to give men equal access to baby-changing tables in their restrooms cleared the California state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday. Currently, there is no federal or state law requiring buildings to provide changing tables in their bathrooms, and any business that does so installs them voluntarily.
But one sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara, said the effort is a “common sense approach” to fix the problem of unequal access to changing stations.
“As the demographics of the modern American family evolve, traditional gender roles with women as the primary caregiver for the children are changing, and men are becoming more and more involved in the care of their young children,” he told FoxNews.com in a statement. “There are also a growing number of same-sex households with children. The bill also ensures that public facilities for changing babies’ diapers are equally available to both men and women.”
Lara’s bill would require that if a business chooses to install a baby-changing station, it must be accessible to both men and women.