WASHINGTON - Complementing same-sex partnership benefits for federal workers, announced by U.S. President Barack Obama one week ago, guidelines prohibiting discrimination against transgender federal employees are being drafted by the president's legal team.
An updated version of the federal employee handbook, which will include the newly drafted guidelines for homosexual and transgender employees, will be posted online, The New York Times reported.
Transgender men and women view their inclusion in the president's federal discrimination guidelines as a positive breakthrough.
"The President is making a very clear statement that transgender people won't be discriminated against," Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality Mara Keisling said, adding that the new provisions had "a very important symbolic value...from our point of view."
According to The Times, Obama's attorneys are simultaneously drafting the transgender guidelines and same-sex domestic partnership benefits for federal employees.
In an interview Tuesday, John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, the federal agency in charge of issues in the workplace, said the Obama administration has been open about drafting the new guidelines.
"There has been no attempt to hide anything or be coy," said Berry, the highest-ranking openly gay official in the administration.
"In our own agency we have transgender individuals. I know they are present in the federal work force and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity," he said.
Source: The New York Times