Metro councilman files bill to change bathroom law for businesses

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro councilman filed a bill that would no longer require businesses to have one bathroom for men and another for women.

East Nashville Councilman Brett Withers filed the bill Friday. He says he took action after owners of the vegetarian restaurant Wild Cow was warned by Metro codes inspectors that they could not have unisex bathrooms in their new restaurant Graze.

“They were wanting to make their bathroom facilities available to anyone and the current code actually prevented that,” Withers told News 2.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

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According to the current law, businesses that are over 1,000 square feet have to have bathrooms that are labeled “man” or “woman.”

Wither’s says the law is outdated and his bill would change that.

“We are talking about single stall restrooms that have a lock so there’s not a security or privacy concern.”

Withers says its a practical matter that would allow businesses the most use of their facilities.

“Some businesses really go out of their way to make sure they have a welcoming environment. I would think that a lot of businesses in Nashville would want to be that way may be not all,” explained Withers.

Graze has since passed codes and is open for business.

The Metro council will have its first reading of the bill Tuesday. Withers says if there is no opposition it would pass by late June.

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