Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday ordered the reinstatement of LGBT protections in the agency's employment policy statement.
The Commerce Department's 2017 Secretarial Statement on Equal Employment Opportunity signed by Ross was emailed to department employees Thursday morning. The policy excluded sexual orientation and gender identity in its list of protected classes.
According to BuzzFeed News, those protections were first introduced in 2010.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that not including those classes “makes LGBT people in the Commerce Department feel unwelcome.”
David Stacy, government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called the move “a slap in the face to LGBTQ federal employees who proudly serve at the Department of Commerce and sadly signals that this administration does not value them.”
In a statement Thursday afternoon, the Commerce Department said that Secretary Ross “has directed the department to reissue the policy statement to address any concerns and prevent misinterpretation.”
Finally, something to celebrate!