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Paul Ryan's Hometown Bans LGBT Discrimination

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 29/03/2016 Amanda Terkel
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The city of Janesville, Wisconsin, approved an ordinance Monday night that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination, giving the hometown of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) broader protections than those at the state and national level. 

The ordinance passed 6 to 1, according to Councilman Sam Liebert (D). It provides protections to residents in public accommodations and employment on the basis of 17 categories, including race, religion, military service, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

It also specifically would allow transgender people to use a public restroom based on the gender they identify with, rather than the gender on their birth certificate. 

"Local cities know what is best for their residents, and the Janesville council members did the right thing by passing protections that ensure none of their constituents can be denied a job or refused services because of who they are," said Matt McTighe, executive director of the pro-LGBT rights group Freedom for All Americans. "This measure will improve the lives of countless people and their families, and will hurt no one."

Ryan's office said it had no comment on the local ordinance. 

Wisconsin was the first state to pass nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals, but it still lacks the same rights for transgender people. There are no sexual orientation and gender identity protections at the federal level, although legislation has been introduced to provide them.

North Carolina passed a law last week that bars localities from passing LGBT-inclusive ordinances, such as the one the Janesville city council approved. 

Donald Trump has a rally scheduled in Janesville on Tuesday. Dozens of protesters showed up Monday night in advance of the event, previewing the opposition the GOP presidential front-runner may face when he arrives. 

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