PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Members of the Providence City Council are pledging to draft and pass an ordinance that would ensure all municipal buildings, including public schools, have at least one gender-neutral bathroom.

The council approved a resolution to do so at its regular meeting Thursday night. The resolution notes that the city should, “at the very least,” provide access to bathrooms “according to each individual’s self-identified gender identity.”

The resolution calls it “one step” toward making the city “a more inclusive, safe and welcoming place for every Providence citizen, regardless of gender identity or expression.”

“It’s not enough for LGBTQIA2S+ allies to wave rainbow flags and march in parades — we need to be fighting this bigotry with every tool at our disposal,” Councilman John Goncalves said. (He is also running in the special election for David Cicilline’s seat in Congress.)

In July 2021, Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill requiring all single-user restrooms in public places to be designated as gender-neutral by Jan. 1, 2022.

Alexandra Leslie ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.