Obama to sign a transgender protection executive order

President Barack Obama announced today that he is preparing to sign an executive order to ban workplace discrimination against federal employees based on their gender identity.

The move comes after a ruling a few years ago by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the federal ban on sex discrimination covers transgender rights also. Those affected by that rule change say that the government hasn’t been enforcing it well and they continue to be discriminated against. Transgender federal employees have been paying tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket health care costs related to their gender transition.

Sarah Vestal, a transgender woman in California who also works for the Treasury Department, told media in April that an Obama executive order would help because it would show that he is serious about stemming discrimination in the government.

“It would help eliminate the structural discrimination,” Vestal stated. “Transgender people in the federal government are pulling their hair out.”

The president’s announcement comes mere weeks after he signaled plans to sign an executive order barring discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. The signing date is still unknown

Obama made this statement during a White House reception in June and celebrating it as LGBT Pride Month.