President Barack Obama will take a big step for the LGBTQ community in the United States when he signs an executive order preventing federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Although the protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons is limited to just those companies that do business with the federal government, it is a big step toward making sexual orientation a protected class. Right now protected groups include age, race, gender and disabilities.
The president may push Congress to include sexual orientation, but such legislation would have little chance of passing. Obama has come a long way on gay rights.
During his time in the White House, te has done away with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of gays in the military, enabling people to serve openly without fear of being tossed out and losing their benefits. The president has come out in favor of same sex marriage, and now prohibitions in many states have been lifted.
A new day of constitutional rights reaching more people finally is dawning. One day, Kansas and Missouri will catch up.