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Some City Hall bathrooms will go gender-neutral

Bathrooms on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall, just outside the mayor’s office and City Council chamber, will now be gender-neutral.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed the executive order Thursday, making Boston one of the first city halls in New England to institute gender-neutral bathrooms, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“Today marks a historic moment in Boston,” Walsh said in the statement. “Boston thrives on diversity, and is an inclusive city. This change will foster a safe and welcoming environment for employees and visitors.”

Gender-neutral bathrooms are meant to eliminate the negative experience of those who are not comfortable using gender-specific bathrooms, the mayor’s office said, as well as benefit people with disabilities who have personal attendants of a different gender.

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New signs have been posted to make employees and visitors aware of the change.

Attorney General Maura Healey said she supported the order and hoped it would inspire businesses to do the same.

“Mayor Walsh’s announcement today is an important step forward in the fight for equality,” Healey said in a statement.

Several community members also expressed support.

Sylvain Bruni, Boston Pride president, said in a statement, “Boston Pride is #WickedProud of Mayor Walsh’s taking the bold step.”


Aneri Pattani can be reached at aneri.pattani@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @apattani95.