No Religious Exemption As President Obama Will Sign Order Protecting LGBT Employees

This is what many of us wanted to happen, and I was quite sure in spite of the public pressure, that at the end of the day this is how it would play out.

Come Monday there will be an Executive Order protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work.

As it should be.

Gay groups had stepped up their already intense campaign to make sure that President Obama signed the order after the Supreme Court’s decision last month in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case.   Everyone with a pound of common sense understands that the ruling was a most dreadful decision as it will open the doors for discrimination based on the religious beliefs of employers.  Without a pause some were already trying to make the case as to why it should be fine to discriminate against gay employees.

With the action by Obama come Monday a powerful message will be sent to this country that such bigoted ideas will not pass the smell test.

There is also a historical angle to this that even brings President Johnson and Nixon into the story.

By extending these new protections Obama is building on two longstanding executive orders. He is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protections that apply to federal contractors and that were approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. And he is adding gender identity as a protected category to a 1969 directive by President Richard M. Nixon that applies to federal employees, which was later amended by President Bill Clinton to include sexual orientation.

Progress is a real tough pill for some in this county to accept.   But there is no way that the civil and constitutional rights of the gay community should ever again be subjected to the whims and fanciful notions of the bigots of this nation.

As such, thank you President Obama for this Executive Order.

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