Officials in Janesville pass anti-discrimination bathroom ordinance

JANESVILLE — Officials in the Wisconsin city of Janesville, the hometown of Republican U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, have passed an ordinance that says public spaces must allow people to use the restrooms of the gender they identify with.

The ordinance is designed to prevent discrimination. The city council passed it 6-1 despite concerns that it could create a loophole for child predators, the Janesville Gazette reports.

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.

Similar laws 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.