Today, President Obama signed an executive order that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity against federal workers and contractors. Obama announced the forthcoming change in June.
According to the Associated Press, federal contactors employ one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. President Bill Clinton previously enacted protections for federal employees based on sexual orientation, but President Obama expanded these protections to include contractors and gender identity. Obama declined to include religious exemptions in the orders.
"It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender," said President Obama. "And that’s wrong. We’re here to do what we can to make it right -- to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction."
GLAAD Board Member Jennifer Finney Boylan is attending the signing this morning, along with other LGBT advocates.