Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, is celebrating the signing of two executive orders today. Executive Order 11246 will now prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Executive Order 11478 will now protect transgender employees in the federal civilian service from discrimination.

Signage of these orders comes two weeks after Equality Federation, along with 45 state-based LGBT advocacy organizations, called on the President to reject broad religious exemptions and send a clear message that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will be treated no differently from other forms of discrimination.

Today’s executive orders do not include overly broad religious exemptions that would have left LGBT workers vulnerable to discrimination and that would have set a dangerous precedent for future legislation at the state and federal level.

Following the signing of these orders at the White House, Equality Federation Executive Director Rebecca Isaacs released the following statement:

“For the first time in our nation’s history, all hardworking LGBT employees of the federal government and federal contractors are protected from discrimination. Because of these historic executive orders, LGBT workers will be judged on their qualifications, experience, and performance – nothing more, and nothing less.

This monumental step forward is yet another testament to President Obama’s commitment to treating all people fairly and equally.

We were proud to join with all 45 of our member organizations, state-based advocates advancing equality for LGBT people, to urge the President to reject overly broad religious exemptions in these orders, and we are grateful that he heard our voices and heeded our call. One of our nation’s most fundamental values is the free exercise of religion, but religious freedom does not include the right to discriminate against or otherwise harm hardworking Americans.

America is a land of opportunity and freedom — where people who work hard and meet their responsibilities have the chance to get ahead. These executive orders will help ensure that all people, including those who are LGBT, have a fair opportunity to earn a living, meet their obligations, provide for themselves and their families, and build a better life.”

About Equality Federation
Equality Federation is the strategic partner and movement builder to state-based organizations advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the communities we call home. Learn more at equalityfederation.org.

For more information, contact:
Jace Woodrum, Director of Communications
720.412.3772 | jace@equalityfederation.org

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Jace Woodrum

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