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President Obama to sign executive order protecting LGBT employees of fed contractors

BY LESLEY CLARK
MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU

After years of prodding from gay rights activists, President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the White House says.

The administration says the move builds upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and is “consistent with the president’s views that all Americans, LGBT or not, should be treated with dignity and respect.”

Advocates have been pressing for the executive order since Obama was elected in 2008 and hailed the White House’s announcement that Obama has directed his staff to prepare the executive order for his signature.

“This is a major step forward in the struggle for freedom and justice for LGBTQ workers and their families,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Now millions of people will have the economic security they need to provide for their families.”

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