Monday, June 16, 2014

President Obama Signs Executive Order to Provide Workplace Protection to Federal Contractors

In a huge victory for equality, the White House just announced it intends to protect 16 million more Americans from discrimination in the workplace. The President plans to sign an executive order that will provide protections to people working for federal contractors nationwide who could face everyday job discrimination.

The news also provides huge momentum to our efforts to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Please, send a note of thanks to President Obama now.

Join us in thanking President Obama, and ask him to issue a strong executive order right away to provide badly-needed workplace protections to millions of people.

President Obama is taking this bold step thanks to people like you pushing for what's right. The news is the culmination of six years of advocacy by the members and supporters of the Human Rights Campaign. After five million emails, principled advocacy by our allies in the civil rights community and on Capitol Hill and a mountain of compelling evidence, our efforts paid off. We won!

The number of people affected by this historic decision is staggering.

Federal contractors employ more than 20 percent of the American workforce. According to the Williams Institute, an executive order would protect 11 million more American workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and up to 16.5 million more American workers from discrimination based on gender identity.

The executive order will also require companies that have historically turned a blind eye to workplace discrimination to change their policies.

Exxon Mobil Corporation—whose shareholders voted for the 17th time to reject an anti-discrimination policy for its LGBT workers just days ago—will now have to provide non-discrimination protections to its LGBT employees and prospective hires. Year after year, Exxon has held the lowest spot in HRC's Corporate Equality Index, with a score of negative 25 out of a possible 100 points. No other company has ever received a negative score.

Not only will this order protect LGBT workers in companies like these—it will also speed up the pace of change by declaring that our government will only award taxpayer dollars to companies with pro-equality workplace policies.

Of course, this is not the end of the fight for comprehensive workplace protection nationwide. We still need our more than 1.5 million members and supporters to speak out and push for a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the House to make workplace equality the law of the land.

But today is proof that the momentum from ENDA's strong, bipartisan passage in the Senate last fall is unyielding.

Send a letter of thanks to President Obama for once again standing on the right side of history, and encourage him to promptly issue a strong federal contractor executive order.

Together, we are pushing the country we love to treat everyone equally—and today promises great progress.

Thank you for all that you do, and for sticking with us through to the day when workplace equality is a reality for all Americans.


Chad Griffin
Chad Griffin
Human Rights Campaign

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