Sunday, 20 July 2014

Obama advances transgender rights under the radar: 'It's quiet by design' - Washington Times

SAN FRANCISCO — President Obama, who established his bona fides as a gay and lesbian rights champion when he endorsed same-sex marriage, has steadily extended his administration’s advocacy to the smallest and least accepted band of the LGBT rainbow: transgender Americans.

With little of the fanfare or criticism that marked his evolution into the leader Newsweek nicknamed “the first gay president,” Obama became the first chief executive to say “transgender” in a speech, to name transgender political appointees and to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers. Also in his first term, he signed hate crime legislation that became the first federal civil rights protections for transgender people in U.S. history.

Since then, the administration has quietly applied the power of the executive branch to make it easier for transgender people to update their passports, obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, get treatment at Veteran's Administration facilities and seek access to public school restrooms and sports programs - just a few of the transgender-specific policy shifts of Obama’s presidency...

Read more: Obama advances transgender rights under the radar: 'It's quiet by design' - Washington Times

White House says Obama’s LGBT executive order will not provide religious exemption - The Washington Post

President Obama, resisting calls from several prominent faith leaders, will not include a new exemption for religiously affiliated government contractors when he issues an executive order Monday barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the White House said Friday.

Obama announced last month that he would sign such an order after concluding that Congress was not going to act on a broader measure prohibiting discrimination based on sexual discrimination or gender identity by companies.

 Since then, faith leaders have urged him to include an exemption for government contractors with a religious affiliation, such as some social service agencies...

Read the rest of this extremely important article here: White House says Obama’s LGBT executive order will not provide religious exemption - The Washington Post

Considering the stranglehold religious extremists have on US politics, espeically but not exclusively the right, this is a tough and courageous stand for equality on Obama's part.