President Barack Obama recently announced his preparation of an executive order that will prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by any business that contracts with the federal government.
While 29 states still legally allow a business to fire someone based solely on his/her sexual orientation, 32 states still provide NO legal protection for transgender individuals from gender identity discrimination. That translates into the lives of 22% of the American workforce being changed for the better with the passing of this bill. Studies show that around one third of the LGBT community has experienced some form of discrimination or harassment on the job. This number drastically increases with LGBT workers of color, where a whopping 50% have experience some form of the same issues.
The signing of this executive order is the largest expansion of LGBT workplace protections in our country’s history. This is another telling action of Obama’s resolve to provide all Americans with equal rights and opportunities and another step in the right direction for our nation.