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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.

13 July, 2014
Hoaxes, Satire and Unnecessary Internet Outrage: Has Our Society Seriously Gotten Stupider?

-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: Dinosaurs do not exist anymore—but some people actually may not know that... (Image Source: Facebook) With the age of information that we are living in, there is currently bound to be quite a bit of false information out there—whether it’s intentionally harmful or simply a joke. Internet hoaxes... Read more

7 July, 2014
Thank You BBC for Pushing to Cut Air Time for Climate Change Deniers and Other Fringe Hacks

-by Drew Kolar, Editor-in-Chief; Image: Hurricane Arthur as viewed from a NASA satellite on July 3 (Image Source: NASA / Public Domain) A report surfaced this past weekend that the BBC Trust has begun sending journalists on courses to teach them to stop inviting guests with marginal views on scientific issues like climate change. Approximately 200 staff... Read more

5 July, 2014
Hobby Lobby Decision is Disaster for Reproductive Rights

-by Samantha Wilson, Assistant Editor; Image: Hobby Lobby (Image Source: Michael Rivera/Wikimedia Commons) Earlier this week, the Supreme Court made a bleak mark on United States history by ruling that requiring family-owned corporations to pay for insurance coverage for contraception under the Affordable Care Act violated a federal law protecting... Read more

27 June, 2014
We Should Support and Celebrate the Return of 'Reading Rainbow'

-by Samantha Wilson, Assistant Editor; Image: Levar Burton on the first episode of 'Reading Rainbow' (Image Source: Kickstarter) Last month, much to the delight of those who grew up in the eighties and nineties or raised someone who did, Levar Burton announced that he would be bringing back his beloved educational show Reading Rainbow via kickstarter... Read more

22 June, 2014
LGBT Pride: Remembering the Past and Classing Up Our Act for the NYC Pride Parade

-by Drew Kolar, Editor; Image: The rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBT Pride (Image Source: Ludovic Bertron / Wikimedia Commons) As New York City’s LGBT Pride March and all the festivities leading up to it draw near, a brief history lesson is in order. Early morning on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police. At the time, police raids... Read more

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