Obama plans to sign amendments Monday to executive orders put in place by two earlier presidents, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon that between them barred discrimination based on race, age, national origin, religion and gender. He will add sexual orientation and gender identity to Johnson's order and gender identity to the one signed by Nixon, which was amended in the 1990s to include sexual orientation.
Officials said religious groups will still be allowed to hire people based on their religious affiliation. But they will not be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals and the transgendered if they want to be federal contractors.
The president had been waiting to see if Congress would act on legislation.