Six years after promising to do so, President Barack Obama added his signature on Monday to an executive order barring LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. He also went further and formally amended a separate executive order to include workplace protections for transgender employees of the U.S. government. "I know I’m a little late,” said Obama, referring to the near-30 minute delay of Monday’s signing ceremony (though some might argue that it was a delay of six years and 30 minutes). “Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day come.”
The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision may have opened the door to a number of potential horrors, but tarnishing President Obama's legacy on LGBT equality won't be one of them. Bucking calls from more than a dozen high-profile faith leaders – some his own allies – Obama has decided to leave out a religious exemption in two upcoming executive orders regarding LGBT discrimination, the Associated Press reported Friday. One will extend workplace protections to transgender employees of the U.S. government. And the other will bar LGBT discrimination among all companies that do business with the U.S. government, a move anticipated to cover about a fifth of the national workforce.