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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The mayor of Lincoln has signed an executive order that bans discrimination against city employees based on gender identity or expression.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird signed the executive order Monday in a move that strengthens a city policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The city says in a news release that it’s the first time city workers have been protected on the basis of gender identity or expression.

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Lincoln regulations already outlawed discrimination against city employees on a number of grounds including race, religion, sexual orientation and political opinions.

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The mayor encouraged other employers to “follow the city's lead and create policies that treat their LGBT employees fairly.”

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