In a move certain to anger anti-gay Christians, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order granting the single largest expansion of LGBT workplace protections in our country’s history.
The sweeping executive order will ban federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the White House said Monday.
The order comes after the repeated failure of Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal for employers nationwide to fire or harass someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill passed the Senate last year, but stalled in the GOP controlled House.
Last January, Speaker of the House John Boehner said there was “no way” ENDA would be brought to the floor for a vote this year.
Obama’s executive order is an extension of orders previously issued by past presidents banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin among all contractors and subcontractors who do over $10,000 in business with the government in any one year. The order will prohibit all companies who contract with the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order is expected to be finalized by month’s end.
Think Progress reports
The protections will reach over one million LGBT workers across the country, making it the single largest expansion of LGBT workplace protections in our country’s history.
Unfortunately, many members of the LGBT community who do not work for federal contractors will continue to lack workplace protections. State employment protections and strong federal legislation is still necessary to protect LGBT Americans from discrimination, discrimination often motivated by religious prejudice and bigotry.