Today’s sweeping Executive Order protecting LGBT workers from job discrimination is years in the making.
Now, millions more Americans are now protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
President Obama explicitly protects transgender federal employees from workplace discrimination by amending an order issued by President Bill Clinton banning sexual orientation discrimination within the federal workforce.
In the same order, President Obama set strong new standards for federal contractors, which employ 20 percent of the American workforce. In so doing, the Obama administration has guaranteed that 14 million more American workers will be protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Today only further proves President Obama’s legacy as a transformational leader.
Here are eight amazing quotes from today’s White House event:
1. 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. And that’s wrong.
2. Equality in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, it turns out to be good business.
3. “…In too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can still be a fireable offense.”
4. “There are people here today who’ve lost their jobs for that reason. This is not speculative, this is not a matter of political correctness — people lose their jobs as a consequence of this.”
5. The rest of you, of course, need to keep putting pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all.
6. For more than two centuries, we have strived, often at great cost, to form “a more perfect union” — to make sure that “we, the people” applies to all the people.
7. We’ve got an obligation to make sure that the country we love remains a place where no matter who you are, or what you look like, or where you come from, or how you started out, or what your last name is, or who you love — no matter what, you can make it in this country.
8. We’ve got a long way to go, but I hope as everybody looks around this room, you are reminded of the extraordinary progress that we have made not just in our lifetimes, but in the last five years. In the last two years. In the last one year. We’re on the right side of history.