Paul Ryan Declines to Take Position on N.C. Bathroom Law, Mississippi Freedom of Conscience Law

By Staff | April 22, 2016 | 1:33pm EDT
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( - House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) declined to take a position on the North Carolina law that requires people to use the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex or the Mississippi law that protects religious organizations and individuals from being forced to act against their consciences on matters involving same-sex marriage, sex outside marriage or transgenderism.

A reporter asked Ryan about the laws at Ryan’s Thursday press briefing. Here is a transcript of the exchange:


Reporter: Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of significant national backlash against laws that target the LGBT community in North Carolina and Mississippi. Just this morning, Donald Trump said he opposes the law in North Carolina. Do you oppose these laws?--

Paul Ryan: I'm not going to comment on what various different states are doing. Again, all of our committees that have jurisdiction in this area look at this issue. But it's not my place to get involved in what each state is doing. To be quite honest, I'm not sure of what all of the details of those laws are.

Reporter: Generally speaking, do you think laws that discriminate against LGBT people are a bad idea?

Ryan: I think the way you phrased your question is a little odd. My record on this issue is pretty clear. I voted for it, gosh, back in 2005, 6.  I can't remember when that was exactly. Look, this is an issue that also deals with religious conscience and religious freedom as well. So, I think there’s got to be a well-maintained balance and I'm not sure what each of these states are doing. But this is something that, you know, members are going to work on their issue and speak their will, and I'll leave it at that.

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