The Obama administration announced yesterday that the President will issue an executive order prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for any contractor or subcontractor who does at least $10,000 worth of business with the federal government within one year.

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via Flickr

The executive order is expected to cover 28 million workers in total, including an estimated one in five LGBT employees nationally, and reach into the 29 states where no protections for LGBT workers currently exist.  The White House plans to host a meeting Thursday afternoon on the executive order.

According to a White House official, the order “will build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This is consistent with the president’s views that all Americans, LGBT or not, should be treated with dignity and respect.”

Although 9 out of 10 voters believe that federal law already prohibits discrimination against LGBT employees, there is no federal law that addresses LGBT workers. In November, the Senate voted 64-32 to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban discrimination due to gender identity or sexual orientation in the work place, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has refused to bring the bill to a vote on the House floor.

Media Resources: Think Progress 6/16/14; www.lgbtmap.org; Politico 6/17/14; Feminist Newswire 11/8/13