A gay protections executive order reportedly being considered by the Obama administration could affect 16 million employees.

The proposed memo, which would extend the federal government's ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to contractors, was first reported by gay weekly Metro Weekly.

The Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles released a report detailing the impact of the proposed executive order.

“Eleven million additional employees would gain protections against sexual orientation discrimination and 16 million employees would be protected against gender identity discrimination,” concludes the report, titled The Impact of Extending Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Requirements to Federal Contractors.

In a memo to Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, the Williams Institute, along with the Center for American Progress, detailed what the Obama executive order should include and whether it could be legally challenged.

The executive order may require federal contractors to adopt nondiscrimination policies, actively recruit LGBT employees and extend benefits to domestic partners. The federal government currently does not offer benefits to the spouses of gay employees.

“It is well within the president's legal authority to issue either an amended or a new executive order to require that federal contractors not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” the groups wrote. “However, the lack of Supreme Court precedent on the constitutionality of nondiscrimination executive orders … adds a modicum of uncertainty to the legal analysis.”