Metro Weekly

Federal contractors can no longer allow anti-LGBT discrimination

President Obama's Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination takes effect

Photo: Barack Obama signs an LGBT nondiscrimination executive order. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.
Photo: Barack Obama signs an LGBT nondiscrimination executive order. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.

As of today, President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination takes effect.

Signed in July, it prevents any federal contractor or subcontractor from allowing anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace, granting protections to those who were previously left at the mercy of individual company policies. Now, companies contracted to the federal government can no longer discriminate against LGBT people in hiring, firing, pay, promotion or other practices, bringing the rules in line with measures to protect other minority groups.

“This is a civil rights victory consistent with our founding principles,” Secretary of Labor Tom Perez wrote in a Department of Labor blog post. “It will mean a more dynamic and inclusive workforce that captures the talents of more of our people. It advances the principle that we should be leaving no one on the sidelines, that America is strongest when it fields a full team.”

In an op-ed for The Advocate, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett called the Executive Order “another important step toward equality and fairness with our LGBT brothers and sisters.”

“The billions of taxpayer dollars that federal contractors and subcontractors receive…will not be used to discriminate against people,” she said. “This will effectively prevent any company that does business with the government from firing an employee based on who they are or who they love.”

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