Obama Signs Executive Order Banning Anti-LGBT Employment Discrimination by Federal Contractors and Protecting Transgender Federal Government Employees

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July 21, 2014

Today, President Obama signed an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT workers by federal contractors and against federal government employees who are transgender.

With today’s executive order, President Obama has aligned the interests of American taxpayers with industry standards well established by America’s business leaders.  The American public deserves good value when spending public dollars to meet public needs.  Discrimination is hurtful and wasteful. American workers and the American public need both value and fairness when public funds are expended.  We thank and applaud President Obama and his administration for taking this important step.

This executive order, which updates two orders signed by previous presidents, does two things: it will provide explicit protection against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination for LGBT employees of federal contractors and it bans discrimination against federal employees on the basis of gender identity.

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support LGBT Workplace Equality is Good For Business

Since 1941, our presidents have provided leadership about equal workplace opportunity by insisting that employers who work on federal contracts for the American public stop engaging in discriminatory bias against American workers. The Order also ensures 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. Many view this as simple business sense; irrational discrimination against hardworking employees, including bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, is wasteful and hurtful and undermines productivity. By contrast, laws forbidding anti-LGBT discrimination protect and value loyal, productive workers.

By underscoring this anti-bias principle within federal employment policy, today’s executive order is a statement of both business pragmatism and core American values.  We are deeply grateful to President Obama for continuing his administration’s sensible, principled progress toward full equality, inclusion and respect for the contributions made every day by LGBT Americans.  We now will continue working closely with the Administration and congressional leaders to pass legislation that follows President Obama’s lead.  Our federal employment statutes must be updated in harmony with today’s executive order to include the clear, effective nondiscrimination protections all LGBT workers deserve and have urgently needed for far too long.

Read the press release.