President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday to prohibit transgender discrimination in public employment, another unilateral move by the administration in the wake of the 2014 midterms.
According to the new order, the Justice Department will now interpret the Civil Rights Act as covering transgender employees in workplace discrimination disputes, allowing the DOJ to bring suits against public employers for firing employees on the basis of gender identity.
Last summer Obama moved to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination by public contractors. Both moves were made in the face of pressure to exempt religious groups from LGBT orders in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling.
Aides have said the president feels “liberated” with the elections behind him. Obama has made major moves in the past few weeks, issuing an executive order to delay deportations, normalizing relations with Cuba, and striking a climate deal with China.
[h/t Associated Press]
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