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White House considering ENDA executive order, says Labor Secretary Perez

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The Washington Blade questioned Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on Wednesday about the state of employment protections for the LGBT community under the Employment Non-Discriminatoin Act (ENDA), as well protections specifically geared towards workers who are transgender. The news source reported:

Sources close to the administration have already told the Washington Blade the Labor Department, as well as the Justice Department, have already green-lighted the executive order for the White House.

Also during the briefing, Perez was asked by the Blade whether the Labor Department would apply Executive Order 11246 — the existing directive that prohibits gender discrimination among federal contractors — to transgender workers in the wake of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decision two years ago in Macy v. Holder.

“That issue is under review in the aftermath of the Macy decision,” Perez said. “I’ve asked my staff to expedite that review so that we can bring that issue to a conclusion at the Department of Labor.”

Asked when the process of review would come to an end, Perez said, “I’m hoping it will to come to an end as soon as possible.”

As Buzzfeed notes, his comments indicate the Labor Department isn’t currently implementing the existing executive order to protect transgender workers in the same way that Title VII is enforced — even though that law governs the enforcement of the executive order.

Ever since the decision two years ago in Macy v. Holder, which interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to protect transgender workers from discrimination, the Labor Department previously hasn’t responded to requests for comment on whether it will implement Executive Order 11246 to protect transgender workers.

To learn more about Perez' and Press Secretary Jay Carney's comments on anti-discrimination workplace protections for LGBT employees, President Obama's reaction to Michael Sam coming out as a gay NFL prospect, and a transcript of the conference, read the full Washington Blade story here. To learn more about putting an end to anti-LGBT discrimination, check out glaad.org/enda.

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