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Feds: Gay government workers less satisfied; hurts job performance

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,OPM,Whistleblowers,Gay rights,LGBT

A new report on the views of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender federal workers reveals that they have a less positive view of their jobs than heterosexuals and often conceal their sexual orientation, reducing their “ability to perform their best.”

Despite President Obama's push for greater diversity and acceptance of LGBT workers in the federal force, many feel discrimination of some sort and lie about their status.

In “Sexual Orientation and the Federal Workplace,” some 2 percent of the overall 687,000 federal force openly identified as LGBT, or 13,500. Some 10.8 percent refused to say. Other studies estimate the LGBT population about about 4 percent, and the report cited another that found 51 percent of LGBT workers hide their sexual identity on the job.

“The consequences of hiding one's LGBT identity may including having to lie daily about one's personal life and being unable to participate honestly in everyday conversations at work which may hinder trust and cohesion with one's coworkers and superiors,” according to the report from the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

The report also found that heterosexual workers feel more positive about their job for Uncle Sam. In their survey for the report, 65 percent of those identified as “not LGBT” are satisfied, compared to 59 percent of LGBT.

“Whether due to the workplace climate or other reasons, the belief that one must conceal such an integral part of oneself in the workplace may reduce employees’ ability to perform their best, as well as their attitudes about the workplace,” said the report provided to Secrets.

Obama has taken several steps to make LGBT workers feel at home and protected in the federal workforce. On Monday, he said that he would sign an executive order offering transgender federal workers protection from discrimination at work.

The Merit Systems Protection Board recommended that the administration make sure that agencies are fair and inclusive to all workers and that it team with “LGBT affinity groups” to create an open workplace.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.