On July 21, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Executive Order does not include a new exemption for religiously affiliated contractors. Several religious leaders sought such an exemption after news of Obama’s plan was reported in June.
A fact sheet from the White House explains that an Executive Order issued by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Obama’s new Executive Order adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories.