Human Rights Commission Meeting Considers New Proposal

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COLUMBIA - The Human Rights Commission Committee agreed Tuesday to propose changes to the building construction code.

The 2009 code says single-stalled bathrooms must be labeled as either male and female. However, the commission would like this to become more gender neutral. 

It proposed single-stall bathrooms be identified as family and accessible instead of male or female.

The building and site development manager Shane Creech visited the meeting to inform the committee about the process of changing the current code. 

"First if the committee wants to change the code they send a letter to the city counil about their propsal. Then the city council will send their recommendation to the building construction committee. Depending on what we think about it we will send it to the international planning committee," said Shane Creech.

Regardless of the process, members of the commission said this will assist the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual and Queer community, the trans-gender community and people with disabilities.

Creech said this proposal change will only affect new projects such as restaraunts and stores unless business owners are willing to change exisisting signs on it's own.

A section in the 2012 code states the possibility of this change but it has not been adopted by the Columbia city council.

The Human Rights Commission Committee plans to collaborate with the disabilities commission to send a letter to the city council. 

The commission hopes the city council amends the 2009 code and adopts the proposal for the 2012 code.