Tennessee small businesses go neutral after bill with unisex bathrooms

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s not usually something we talk about at the Tennessee State Capitol or on the evening news.

But thanks to state lawmakers, potty talk is now the talk of the town.

The controversial “bathroom bill” won’t face a vote during the 2016 legislative session.

That bill would not have applied to restrooms on private property, but many business owners are going neutral in the restroom.

The Wild Cow, a vegetarian restaurant in East Nashville, has two unisex bathrooms. They are single-stall and the door locks, so privacy is firmly intact.

Melanie Cochran, co-owner of The Wild Cow, said the idea started as a way to help parents.

“Only one [of the bathrooms] has enough room for a changing table, and we wanted both parents to be able to change their baby’s diaper,” said Cochran. “So we figured the easiest way to solve that is to make them available to anybody.”

Cochran said the unisex bathrooms also benefit those in the transgender community because they won’t have to choose which restroom to use.

Lots of businesses have gone the route of the unisex bathrooms.

Others are offering a family bathroom, which is a private, single-stall alternative for moms with sons, dads with daughters, caregivers and the handicapped.

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