Ingham County moves toward gender-neutral bathrooms


LANSING, Mich. — The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is following communities in countries such as Germany, Scotland, Britain, Canada and China in deciding to put gender-neutral bathrooms in all county public buildings. According to Rick Terrill, the county’s facilities director, the move would replace between 60 and 69 bathroom signs on single-stall restrooms.

The resolution sponsored by Vice-Chair Ryan Sebolt, D-Lansing, says that “all restrooms and gender-segregated facilities on property operated by Ingham County shall be accessible to individuals consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.”

The gender-neutral bathrooms will have single stalls. Commissioner Mark Grebner, D-East Lansing, also suggested that the county builds new structures, multiple-stall gender-neutral bathrooms should be constructed. In 2017, Berlin passed a similar resolution called the “Toilet Concept for Berlin.” The city stated that it would push to introduce unisex toilets throughout its public buildings.

Ingham contracts go unsigned, but money is spent anyway

Ingham County enters into a lot of contracts, but not all of them get signed. It seems this has been going on for years. Ingham County Board of Commission Office Director Becky Bennett brought it to the commissioners’ attention Feb. 12. Public Health Director Linda Vail backed up Bennett and so did Chief Deputy County Clerk Ryan Buck.