Photo courtesy of Senator Ricardo Lara's Office
Dozens of proud, child-raising, diaper-changing fathers and their families joined Senator Ricardo Lara in front of the Aquarium of the Pacific this morning in support of SB 1350, a bill that would ensure that equal access to baby changing stations in public restrooms.
As of now, there is no legal requirement for both men’s and women’s public restrooms to include baby changing stations and, for the most part, they are disproportionately installed in women bathrooms only.
“Parents have contacted me voicing their frustration saying they struggle to find a men’s restroom that has a diaper changing station,” Lara told the Post. “This bill simply says: if you are installing a baby changing station, it should be accessible to both men and women.”
Lara points out that the demographics of the modern family have evolved—including the roles gender plays in caregiving for children: women are increasingly becoming larger financial contributors to the household while men are increasing their involvement in what used to be relegated to “motherly tasks”—including good ol’ diaper changing.
“As mothers pursue professional careers and advance in the workforce, the number of men choosing to be stay-at-home dads is growing at a rapid pace,” Lara said. “We need our state policies to reflect these changing attitudes, and recognize and celebrate the growing role of dads in their kids lives. It’s not the 1950s anymore; this is the 21st Century and this is California.”