Diaper Changing Station Equality Vetoed in California

by Rebecca Peterson

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB-1350 and SB-1358, sister bills which would have mandated that baby diaper changing stations be made accessible to both men and women in public restrooms. Despite bi-partisan support at the senate level, Brown said he vetoed the bills on principle. 

“At a time when so many have raised concerns about the number of regulations in California, I believe it would be more prudent to leave the matter of diaper changing stations to the private sector,” stated Brown in his veto message. “Already, many businesses have taken steps to accommodate their customers in this regard. This may be a good business practice, but not one that I am inclined to legislate.”

While Brown was reelected in part for his reputation as a “Tough-Love California Miracle”, it’s rather sadistic that the line was drawn here (Brown is, after all, the same governor who signed a ban on Four Loko in 2011).

It’s unfortunate these bills were victim to the times, as they would have effectively set a precedent of familial gender equality, and acknowledged the institutional barriers faced by fathers. If men don’t even have the option of changing their children’s diapers in restaurants, women don’t have any choice but to assume the task. And it goes without saying that these bills would have lifted a huge burden off of same-sex parents, or any of the 2 million stay at home dads across the country.

Californians still await word on the more well-known Yes Means Yes bill. The bill, which would require colleges to adopt an affirmative consent standard with reports of sexual assault, has been criticized by some as another act of over-governance. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that, like Four Loko, “No Means No” will be institutionalized as a public safety hazard. 

Full House photo via Radar Online. 

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.