In the midst of the backlash from gay rights groups concerning his recent actions on the Defense of Marriage Act and extending limited benefits to gay couples, President Obama was also working on legislation that would include transgendered employees in anti-discrimination codes. This act would mark the first time that the Federal government has given protection to transgenedered individuals, and marks a turning point in the legal acceptance and equal protection of these people.
The main effects of this move will to allow for transgendered individuals to use their status in discrimination claims, similar to other statues protecting people from discrimination based on their gender, race, or religion. While transgendered individuals make up a small small fraction of the Federal workforce, this decision will likely be a greater symbolic victory for these people who have long been neglected and unprotected by legislation.
The inclusion of transgendered individuals is historic as it marks the first time that the Federal Government has recognized this group as a protected class. As well, this could mean sweeping changes in local and state organizations as states move to adopt anti-discrimination laws to protect transgendered people from discrimination. What was once a fringe issue rarely discussed is now getting pushed into the mainstream as it should, starting with Federal acceptance and protection of these people