Dear So-Called Conservatives,
I know it is difficult to say anything good about Obama, but on Monday, Obama singed into law the BABIES Act which mandates that baby changing tables be installed in men’s rooms in publicly accessible Federal buildings. These are buildings like courthouses, national museums, visitors centers at National Parks, etc.
This is good law. Stop complaining about it. When I go to a conservative leaning website that covered the news and the comments are filled with people bashing this law, it is infuriating.
For get about the trans issue. Forget about mandating LGBT this or that. This law helps responsible dads be responsible. As a dad, it is frustrating when I go somewhere with my son and there is no place to change him in a men’s room.
For all the whining about “nanny state” that I see, this is completely within the purview of Federal authority. The Federal Government has the power to control building codes (which is what this is) in Federal buildings. They do all the time for things like security. This act does not affect private enterprise.
At a personal level, I do thing that changing tables should be mandatory in men’s and women’s rooms in businesses that have restrooms available to the public, e.g. restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It should be part of building codes. Florida mandates, for instance, how much bathroom space you have to have for your occupancy. There is nothing worse than going into a restaurant to find out it has one bathroom and people have to wait in line. Illinois was like that. That is bad building codes.
Even if it is not mandatory by code, it is just good customer service. If you have highchairs and a kids menu and no place for me to change a baby, I’m gonna get pissed fast. Yes, I have changed my son on the table in a Starbucks because it didn’t have a changing table in the men’s room. That was a fun argument with the manager.
If you watch a bill be signed into law that makes it just a tad easier for dads to take care of their children, and your first instinct is to attack it because “liberal nanny state trans-lovers can’t leave our bathrooms alone,” you really need to STFU and deal with your daddy issues. And if you own a restaurant and have high chairs and kids menu, and no changing tables in the men’s room, I hope some dad like me changes a poopy diaper on your table because you’re a pig headed asshole.
Update: The first comment to this post brought up nanny states. Let’s discuss. I am a conservative, not an anarchist. I believe there are good laws and bad laws. Much of what separates a good law from a bad law is a cost benefit analysis. Let’s take building codes. Yes, it can be expensive to build to code. But many codes exist for the safety of the public. How to wire a building to prevent electrical fires. Good law.
Mandating how big a soda a restaurant can sell is bad law. High cost in loss of revenue, low benefit as limiting a patron to only a 20 oz Coke is not going to change his risk of a heart attack. Mandating the temperature at which a restaurant keeps its refrigerators and freezers, and what cleaners it has to use is good law. Low relative cost to do maintenance on restaurant equipment, vs. the high cost of causing an e coli outbreak. Restroom size and baby changing space is a matter of hygiene. The cost of a changing table is not much, a few hundred at the most. The benefit is preventing disease to the baby or to other patrons by having an over flowing diaper leak onto places were food is placed. Good law.
My family owns a restaurant, I am familiar with building and health codes. Some are expensive and seem to have little value. Others are important. I want my tables wiped down with bleach water changed regularly. Keeps it clean. A damp rag used for an entire shift is just a vector for infection.
I’m not telling individuals how much TP that have to use, that is stupid. I am saying that a business, open to the public, should make reasonable accommodations to the needs of families, which includes changing tables in men’s and women’s restrooms. That is an ordinance that passes the cost benefit analysis sniff test.
There is a huge reasonable area between nanny state and anarchy. Don’t fall for the false dichotomy.