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Posted on Jul 21, 2014

President Obama signs executive order protecting LGBT federal workers and contractors

Today, President Obama signed an executive order that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity against federal workers and contractors. Obama announced the forthcoming change in June.

According to the Associated Press, federal contactors employ one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. President Bill Clinton previously enacted protections for federal employees based on sexual orientation, but President Obama expanded these protections to include contractors and gender identity. Obama declined to include religious exemptions in the orders.

"It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are --  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender," said President Obama. "And that’s wrong. We’re here to do what we can to make it right -- to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction." 

GLAAD Board Member Jennifer Finney Boylan is attending the signing this morning, along with other LGBT advocates. 

July 21, 2014
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Posted on Jul 21, 2014

President Obama signs executive order protecting LGBT federal workers and contractors

Today, President Obama signed an executive order that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity against federal workers and contractors. Obama announced the forthcoming change in June.

According to the Associated Press, federal contactors employ one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. President Bill Clinton previously enacted protections for federal employees based on sexual orientation, but President Obama expanded these protections to include contractors and gender identity. Obama declined to include religious exemptions in the orders.

"It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are --  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender," said President Obama. "And that’s wrong. We’re here to do what we can to make it right -- to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction." 

GLAAD Board Member Jennifer Finney Boylan is attending the signing this morning, along with other LGBT advocates. 

July 21, 2014
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Posted on Jul 18, 2014

WATCH: Mom’s speech challenges bias against her transgender 6-year-old

Debi Jackson, the mother of a 6-year-old transgender girl named A.J., gave a speech about her daughter several months ago at Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City. A video of the speech has gone viral with more than 200,000 views, and was shared in an article from the Huffington Post and in a tweet from Ricky Martin.

In her speech, Debi talks about her process of accepting that A.J. is transgender, and supporting her in living life as the girl she knows she is. At 3-years-old, A.J. began asking to wear girls' clothes, and eventually told her parents that she is a girl. Debi realized they couldn't hold A.J. back any longer, as she was showing signs of depression and refusing to leave the house in boys' clothes.

"The day I let her to go school in girl clothes, she was happier than I had seen in a very long time. The kids were great, and the teachers were awesome," said Debi. "But then the kids went home and told their parents, and they weren't so great after that. Adult bigotry had influenced them."

The last part of Debi's speech addressed the hurtful comments she has heard upon telling people that her daughter is transgender. Debi wiped away tears as she spoke about those who claim that God does not love transgender people.

"My God taught us to love one another," said Debi. "My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. And that's good enough for me."

Watch the full video of Debi Jackson's speech below.

July 18, 2014
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NC State Branding Bar