21 Jul 2014 01:35 PM EST
-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: President Barack Obama signs an executive order prohibiting discrimination. (Image Source: White House)
This morning, President Barack Obama signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against workers due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, bringing the United States one step closer to equality.
The order notes that there are no religious exemptions allowed—an important factor, especially with the recent Hobby Lobby debacle in which the company used their “religion” as an excuse to not pay for female contraceptives in a move that was widely criticized (and rightly so) for being discriminatory against women.
With this new order, which Obama signed this morning in a formal ceremony at the White House, no federal contractor, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, is allowed to discriminate against an employee due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to a report:
“Today President Obama amended Executive Order 11246, which already prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the order.
“Today President Obama amended Executive Order 11478 prohibiting discrimination in the federal civilian workplace, which already includes sexual orientation, to include gender identity.”
“Our government—government of the people, by the people and for the people—will become just a little bit fairer,” the President said.
About 14 million workers are now protected from discrimination. While there is still quite a long way to go in terms of equality in this country—and while racism and homophobia and the like will unfortunately not go away entirely—this is yet another great day for our citizens’ rights. Regardless of how you may feel about President Obama, it is hard to argue against his advances in the push for equal rights for all Americans.Comments
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