Janesville, Wisconsin – Hometown of Paul Ryan – Passes Explicit Transgender Protections

By Adam Polaski • March 29, 2016 • 11:10 am
Last night, on Monday, March 28, the city of Janesville, Wisconsin passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that ensures explicit protections for transgender people in public spaces and employment. Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to pass non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, but the state has yet to embrace the same statewide protections for transgender people. Local ordinances like this demonstrate marked momentum toward that essential statewide resolution.
Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of United States Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican who has had a mixed record on LGBT issues in the past but has taken positive steps toward protecting Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Right now, comprehensive federal legislation outlawing discrimination against LGBT Americans has been introduced in Congress.

The Janesville ordinance protects residents on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex/gender, disability, arrest/conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression, results of genetic testing, honesty testing, pregnancy or childbirth, and military service.

Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, released the following statement about this local development:

“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. This measure will improve the lives of countless people and their families, and will hurt no one. Janesville is sending an important message to the rest of the state that all people are welcome to live, work, and thrive in their community.”

In March, Wisconsin lawmakers adjourned the legislative session without advancing a bill that would have banned transgender children from using facilities at school that match the gender they live everyday. Freedom for All Americans provided communications support, digital strategy, and legislative guidance to Fair Wisconsin this legislative session, generating hundreds of contacts to lawmakers in opposition to the bill.

A poll released in March shows that 73 percent of Wisconsin residents support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

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