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Ryan steers clear of transgender bathroom fight

Ryan steers clear of transgender bathroom fight
© Haiyun Jiang

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis Juan Williams: Trump's GOP descends into farce Now we know why Biden was afraid of a joint presser with Putin MORE on Thursday declined to take a position on North Carolina’s controversial law forcing transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.

But the Wisconsin Republican also said there should be a “well-maintained balance” as states address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

“I’m not going to comment on what various different states are doing,” Ryan told reporters at a news conference. “Again, all of our committees that have jurisdiction in this area will look at this issue, but it’s not my place to get involved in what each state is doing.”

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Despite sidestepping the controversy, Ryan argued that his record on discrimination issues is “pretty clear.” 

He pointed out that he previously voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the mid-2000s. The law bans discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This is an issue that also deals with religious conscience and religious freedom, so there has to be a well-maintained balance,” Ryan added. “This is something that members are going to work on their issue, and speak their will, and I’ll leave it at that.”

Ryan’s remarks came on the same day GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE blasted the North Carolina law. The Tar Heel State, he said, is “paying a big price” after popular musicians and other businesses have begun to boycott North Carolina in protest of the law.

“North Carolina did something. It was very strong. And they're paying a big price. And there's a lot of problems," Trump said. 

Presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry DeSantis tops Trump in 2024 presidential straw poll White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE took the opposite stance, saying, "It's not a reasonable position. 

"The idea that grown men would be allowed alone in a bathroom with little girls — you don't need to be a behavior psychologist to realize that bad things can happen, and any prudent person wouldn't allow that."
 
The Texas senator later tweeted a response to Trump's comments, saying it's "common sense" to oppose transgender bathrooms.