President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination against people who identify to be among the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.
The order adds transgender federal employees, and people who identify as LGBT to a list of those against whom federal contractors can not discriminate.
“We’re on the right side of history,” Obama said at a press conference. “America’s federal contractors should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.”
However, more than a dozen religious leaders, including large nonprofits such as Catholic Charities, urged Obama to exempt such institutions from the order, arguing that “this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”
This move by President Obama is considered as progress to gay rights activists. However, A bill stalled in Congress would offer protection nationally to employees identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, but it hasn’t seen movement since November.