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As published by http://change.gov, a history of anti-discrimination employment laws in the United States:
"Drafted by President Johnson in 1965, Executive Order 11,246, as amended,1 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in their employment practices. The executive order was drafted to enhance equal employment opportunity by ensuring that the Federal government has recourse to act when an employer contracting or subcontracting for the federal government is found to be discriminating on one of these bases. EO 11,246 provides for sanctions against employers by making the non-discrimination measure a term of the contract.
The current federal executive order allows employers to engage in discriminatory practices while continuing to receive federal funds and contracts. When the government is acting on behalf of its citizens in contracting for goods and services, the government becomes a de facto discriminator in employment when it fails to provide adequate protections to the GLBT employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. This results in the denial of employment opportunities to the GLBT community—an effect that is amplified for those GLBT employees who live in states or localities that lack protections against employment discrimination."