Paul Ryan’s hometown passes transgender-friendly bathroom ordinance

Officials in Paul Ryan’s hometown passed an ordinance saying that transgender people must be allowed to use  public restrooms of the gender with which they identify. The ordinance is intended to end discrimination against transgender people.

The Janesville City Council voted 6-1 on Monday to pass the ordinance. Opponents said the bill could create a loophole for child predators, the Janesville Gazette reported.

City Attorney Wald Klimczyk said those concerns were without merit and that people would be prosecuted for lewd acts or offenses in bathrooms, regardless of gender identification. “Those laws still apply,” Klimczyk said.

Transgender advocates have questioned the thinking of critics who contend that people would go through sex reassignment — an elaborate, difficult and expensive process that can last years — just to spy on people in a public bathroom.

Similar laws designed to prevent discrimination have been passed or considered around the country. Gay rights advocates in North Carolina have sued over a law passed last week that prevents local governments from approving protections for LGBT people. Also, Georgia’s governor announced this week that he’d veto a “religious freedom” bill that critics of the measure say would have sanctioned discrimination.

Wisconsin’s Republican leadership attempted to pass such a bill during the last session. The Assembly approved it but Senate leaders apparently decided not to act on it after being contacted by outraged people and groups from all over the nation.

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said his office will not comment on the local issue.