Obama strengthens LGBT workplace rights

2014-07-22 07:29
Indian gay rights slogan board. (Punit Paranjpe, AFP)

Indian gay rights slogan board. (Punit Paranjpe, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Monday outlawing federal employment discrimination based on gender identity and strengthening other LGBT protections.

Supporters of expanded anti-bias protections for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities have sought legal action for years, but in the absence of legislative moves by Congress, the president exercised his executive authority to end certain discriminations.

Obama's order prohibits sexual orientation-related discrimination by companies that contract with the federal government, a move affecting firms that employ millions.

"America's federal contracts should not subsidise discrimination against the American people," Obama said shortly before signing the order.

"It doesn't make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are - lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender," Obama said.

"And that's wrong. We're here to do what we can to make it right - to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction."

The federal government already bars discrimination based on race, origin, gender, religion, age, and sexual orientation.

"Once I sign this order, the same will be explicitly true for gender identity," Obama said to applause at a White House signing ceremony.

"We're on the right side of history."

To the relief of some rights groups, Obama did not include new religious exemptions in the order that were called for by religious leaders.

"Obama's unwillingness to add religious exemptions sends a strong message that religious beliefs should never be used to justify discrimination," said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch.

No federal law currently prohibits an employer from sacking someone because of his sexual orientation, although 18 of the nation's 50 states have adopted state laws to that effect.

Obama said activists and others should continue to pressure US lawmakers "to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all."

Executive orders can be repealed by future administrations.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.