Jewish groups praise Obama on LGBT worker rights expansion
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Jewish groups praise Obama on LGBT worker rights expansion

President Obama signs an executive order extending work protection rights to LGBT employees of federal contractors, while Rabbi David Saperstein (l), the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, looks on at the White House on July 18 2014. (Hadar Susskind/  Bend the Arc)

President Obama signs executive order extending work protection rights to LGBT employees of federal contractors, as Rabbi David Saperstein (l), director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, looks on at the White House on July 18 2014. (Hadar Susskind/ Bend the Arc)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A number of Jewish groups praised President Obama for extending federal job protections for gay employees to employees of government contractors.

Obama signed two executive orders, one extending existing job protections for federal employees who are gay to employees of federal contractors, and another adding transgender employees to those deserving protections.

Praising the move this week were Bend the Arc, a social action group; the Anti-Defamation League; the National Council of Jewish Women; and the Religious Actions Center of the Reform movement. The orders were signed on July 18.

“The immediate impact of this executive order is that the many LGBT Americans who are part of the vast workforce of federal contractors no longer have to fear that they might be fired from their job because of who they are,” Stosh Cotler, Bend the Arc’s CEO, said in a statement. “There are still millions of LGBT Americans working in private industry with no protection from discrimination.”

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender.