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Montana governor signs executive order protecting LGBTI state employees

Montana governor signs executive order protecting LGBTI state employees

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order protecting LGBTI state employees.

The executive order, which goes into effect immediately, bans state agencies, contractors and subcontractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Bullock said Monday (18 January) that he was honoring the values and principles that Rev Martin Luther King Jr had fought for: compassion, acceptance, and equality.

‘I am honored to stand up for all Montanans to ensure that no one is denied full and equal participation in our state’s workforce based on discrimination and intolerance,’ he said.

He added: ‘While an executive order applies to state government only I encourage private businesses to examine their policies as well.’

Bullock noted that four in ten LGB people report experiencing some form of
employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and 90% of transgender people report harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.

Human Rights Campaign hailed the move.

‘Discrimination in any form is wrong, and through his actions today, Governor Bullock has taken a bold step to expand equality and fairness for all,’ said HRC President Chad Griffin.

‘We commend him for doing everything in his administrative power to fight for the rights of LGBT Montanans, and hope his actions encourage other government officials to make safeguarding protections for all residents and visitors a priority.’

There are currently no federal protections for LGBTI employees, who can be fired in 29 states simply for being gay.