President Barack Obama will sign an executive order today that will protect all federal contract employees and federal workers from gender identity discrimination.
The order specifically protects transgender men and women from discrimination in any federal government job, extending to them the same protections enjoyed by gay, lesbian and bisexual workers through an order issued by President Clinton in 1998.
The order also extends to the roughly 24,000 companies with federal contracts prohibiting bias because of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Religious entities will not be exempted from the new executive order, even though some religious groups had been pressuring the White House to do just that.
Local transgender activists have praised the President for protecting a community they say has been marginalized by society at large for much too long.