New York, NY, July 21, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Barack Obama’s action to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the historic executive order which bans discrimination by federal contractors – as well as his executive action to explicitly protect transgender federal employees from discrimination. ADL has been a longtime advocate for these actions, which could affect up to 20 percent of the nation’s workforce.
Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
We welcome the president’s action to ban discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as his action to explicitly protect transgender federal employees from discrimination.
For nearly 50 years it has been illegal for federal contractors to discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This action by President Obama continues his historic leadership in promoting LGBT rights and equality and moves our nation closer to full equality in the workplace.
We are very pleased the president rejected calls to weaken his executive order with a special, additional exemption for religiously affiliated contractors. Taxpayer-funded discrimination, of any kind, is wrong.
Last week, ADL joined a broad coalition letter from dozens of religious and civil rights organizations calling on the president to take this action. ADL will continue to strongly advocate in Congress for comprehensive anti-discrimination laws to include LGBT people – similar to the protections provided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.