Obama to expand discrimination protections to transgender workers

[REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque]

[REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque]

The White House is preparing an executive order that will provide federal workers who are transgender formal protection from discrimination in the workplace, President Barack Obama announced this week.

There's video here of his remarks.

From ABC News:

At least two other measures already prevent the federal government from firing people for being transgender, so Obama's announcement is largely symbolic. Still, advocates hailed the move as a powerful act of recognition for transgender Americans by the first American president to even utter the word "transgender" in a speech.

"The majority of Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies to protect their employees because it's the right thing to do and because many say it helps to retain and attract the best talent. And I agree. So if Congress won't act, I will," Obama told a supportive crowd in the East Room of the White House during a reception marking Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

This is awesome. More here, and remarkably, there hasn't been a whole lot of freaking out over it.