Here’s a public service announcement for East Dallas dads: A lack of changing tables in men’s restrooms may no longer be a viable excuse to con your way out of diaper duty. Thanks to the efforts of a Lakewood dad, the Dallas City Council is considering an ordinance that would require changing tables in all bathrooms at new restaurants, stores, theaters and city-owned buildings, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Lakewood neighbor Chris Fox brought the idea to District 9 City Councilman Mark Clayton last fall and later received help from mayoral candidate Scott Griggs. Fox presented proposed regulations Monday to the Quality of Life Committee, which will send a draft ordinance to the full City Council for consideration, according to the Dallas Observer. Fox said he expects the ordinance to pass.
“My wife and I would go out to restaurants or travel, and after a while, it became apparent that there were a lack of changing stations in men’s restrooms,” he said. “That’s a little outdated. We shouldn’t have to walk into a restaurant and my wife change (my son’s) diaper just because there’s a changing table in her restroom. It’s a basic convenience that should be offered to everyone.”
Failure to install changing tables in public accommodations would result in a $500 fine, according to the proposed ordinance. Without them, Fox said dads often have to change their babies on the counter, on the floor or in their cars.
Fox isn’t the only dad who’s worked toward adding changing stations in men’s restrooms. He has powerful allies in actor Ashton Kutcher and former President Barack Obama, who signed into law the BABIES Act, mandating changing tables in all bathrooms in federal buildings.
“From an equal opportunity standpoint, men should have to do the same things as women,” Fox said. “That’s not to mention two dads who have a baby or a single dad who has a baby.”
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