The White House announced Friday that President Barack Obama on Monday will sign an executive order barring contractors doing business with the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Religious groups will not be exempt, The New York Times reported.

The order will also, for the first time, protect transgender federal employees from workplace discrimination.

Obama announced the addition of transgender protections during 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.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded the move.

“With the strokes of a pen, the president will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of L.G.B.T. people across the country,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “These actions from the president have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration's progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-L.G.B.T. discrimination must not be tolerated.”