President Barack Obama on Monday
announced plans to issue an executive order protecting transgender
federal employees from workplace discrimination.
According to the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
the president announced the upcoming order at the White House's
annual reception marking LGBT Pride Month.
“I've asked my staff to prepare a
second executive order so that federal employees – who are already
protected on the basis of sexual orientation – will now formally be
protected from discrimination based on gender identity as well,”
Obama said during the East Room celebration.
“The majority of Fortune 500
companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their
employees because it's the right thing to do and because many say it
helps to retain and attract the best talent. And I agree. So if
Congress won't act, I will.”
Earlier this month, Obama announced he
would sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from
discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
House to issue gay workplace protections order.)
“We've got a lot to be proud of, but
obviously we can't grow complacent,” Obama said. “We've got to
defend the progress that we've made.”