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The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts state legislature is taking up a pair of bills that "would require public buildings, including restaurants, to provide at least one diaper-changing station that’s accessible to all caregivers, regardless of sex, gender, or disability. The proposals would apply to new construction and to any public building that undergoes substantial renovation or remodeling."

The big complaint: ladies' rooms tend to have diaper changing stations, but not men's rooms.

According to the Globe, "Similar bills have failed to gain traction in previous years, but supporters say there are now more lawmakers juggling work and young children and who understand the problem firsthand … But the proponents of diaper-changing parity bills could face opposition from business groups. Steve Clark, vice president of government affairs at the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said the association did not take a position on past proposals, since they seemed to have little support, but 'we will take a position if we need to'."

The story goes on to point out that "the federal government and other states have begun to insist on wider access to changing stations. Congress in 2016 passed the Babies Act, which requires changing stations in men’s and women’s rooms in federal buildings.

"California passed a law in 2017 requiring new and newly renovated public buildings to include at least one station available to men and women. And last year, New York updated its building codes to require all new or substantially renovated public buildings to provide at least one changing station accessible to all genders.

"Whether Massachusetts will follow suit remains to be seen."
KC's View:
I'm generally okay with proportional legislative responses to important issues, but I'm not entirely sure this rises to that standard.

For one thing, I've noticed lately that a lot of men's rooms have changing tables. For another, a lot of rest rooms are gender neutral, and so have changing tables as a matter of course.

The other thing is that it seems to me that this is one of those cases where a business can create for itself a differential advantage by having changing tables in the men's rooms. Of course, that would only be an advantage in the perception of men willing to change diapers. I know some guys who would deliberately choose a restaurant that only has changing tables in the ladies' room precisely for that reason.

Not me, though.