When President Obama signed a memo granting a few benefits for federal employees in same-sex relationships, lost in the mix was that he was also having his minions draft guidelines to protect transgender employees as well. Could this be the first president in America’s history to not just mention the “T” word, but also provide anti-discrimination rules for ’em?
“The administration’s plan to draft a policy explicitly warning federal supervisors about discrimination against transgender employees was lost in the criticism, and Mr. Obama did not outline it in last week’s announcement,” reports the Times. Also: “John Berry, the director of the federal agency in charge of such workplace issues, the Office of Personnel Management, said in an interview on Tuesday that the administration was not trying to hide its work on the new provisions. Mr. Berry noted that he had mentioned them last week at a news briefing about the president’s same-sex benefits plan, though it came up only briefly in a discussion that mostly focused on the complaints.”
The move comes 11 years after President Bill Clinton added sexual orientation to the list of protected classes for federal employees.
And if the House can get a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act on the president’s desk? We’ll have GLBT protections for all employees!
Still not clear in Obama’s forthcoming guidelines for federal supervisors: Whether they’ll stipulate transgender employees can use the bathroom they feel most comfortable with. But the topic will make for a great ice breaker on Monday!