Obama To Extend Workplace Protections To Transgender Federal Employees

CREDIT: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The Obamas speak with guests at the White House Pride Month reception Monday evening.

Earlier this month, the White House announced that President Obama would sign an executive order protecting the employees of all federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. At the White House’s annual LGBT Pride Month reception Monday evening, Obama announced a separate executive order he’s planning to sign that will similarly protect all transgender employees of the federal government.

Federal employees are already protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation thanks to an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton in May of 1998. Transgender employees have remained vulnerable to discrimination, particularly in the 32 states where they have no workplace protections whatsoever. The newly announced order will add “gender identity” to the list of protections and make the federal workforce a more welcoming place for trans employees.

Obama also chided Congress for failing to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect LGBT workers across the country. He pointed out that “right now, there are more states that let same-sex couples get married than there are states who prohibit discrimination against their LGBT workers.”

No immediate details were available regarding the order.