June 17, 2014 – Reported by MSNBC – President Obama took a much-deserved victory lap on LGBT equality Tuesday night, declaring before an adoring crowd in New York City that his administration has “been able to do more to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans than any administration in history.”
And he’s right. Since 2008, President Obama has overseen the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” – the military’s ban on openly gay service members – a new Hate Crimes law bearing Matthew Shepard’s name, the demise of a 22-year-old travel and immigration ban against people with HIV, the addition of eight openly gay federal judges, a provision making it illegal to deny health insurance to individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the implementation of federal policies recognizing same-sex marriage, just to name a few. On Monday, the White House announced its latest achievement – that the president would be signing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.
“We don’t benefit as a country or an economy – businesses don’t benefit if they’re leaving talent off the field,” said Obama at Tuesday’s DNC LGBT gala. “That’s why I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”