Without fanfare, Obama advances transgender rights

President Barack Obama has steadily extended his administration’s advocacy to the smallest and least accepted band of the LGBT rainbow: transgender Americans.

With little fanfare or criticism, he became the first chief executive to say “transgender” in a speech, to name transgender political appointees and to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers. All happened in his first term.

Since then, the Obama administration has quietly applied the power of the executive branch to make it easier for transgender people to update their passports, obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have gender reassignment covered by government insurance programs and seek access to public school restrooms.

Conservative groups quick to criticize the president for his gay rights advocacy have been slower to respond to administration actions benefiting transgender people.

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