WATCH: President Obama signs executive order banning LGBTI workplace disrimination
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order banning workplace disrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors and the federal government.
The executive order will apply to 24,000 companies designated as federal contractors whose 28 million workers make up a fifth of the country's workforce.
While the order protects federal contractors the broader Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would prohibit anti-LGBT workplace discrimination in private workplaces, is still stalled in the House of Representatives.
Watch Obama signing the Executive Order
Speaking at the signing Obama said:
"Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day coming. Today, our government will become just a little bit fairer.
“It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our citizens go to work with the awareness they could lose their job because of who they are – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender – and that’s wrong.
“We’re here to do what we can to make it right. To bend the arc of justice, just a little bit, in the right direction.
“Once I sign this order… we’re going to prohibit all companies that receive contracts from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees."
The executive order did not include a religious exemption that many in the LGBT community feared would provide a loophole to religiously-affiliated businesses.