06/17/2014 03:06 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Transgender Activist Dana Beyer Debates Republicans Who Oppose Workplace Nondiscrimination Laws

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans scored a win Monday when President Barack Obama announced he would draft an executive order to ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, but that doesn't mean the fight is over.

During a conversation about what the executive order means, HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri spoke with Dana Beyer, the executive director of Gender Rights Maryland and a transgender woman, about how she addresses people who oppose employment nondiscrimination laws for "ideological reasons" that are not discriminatory.

"I have gay Republican friends," she said. "They support marriage equality because they want the government out of the bedroom, but they don't support employment nondiscrimination because they don't want government meddling in the free market."

So how does Beyer work to convince those conservative friends to change their minds?

"You just show them those photos of people who have suffered discrimination and say, 'What could you do to make this better, rather than just wait for the laissez-faire system to work?'" Beyer said. "We have evidence that laissez-faire capitalism doesn't work at building an equal-playing-field economy. You have to have government intervention. So [I ask my friends], 'What would you suggest to make these people's lives better?"

See the full HuffPost Live conversation about Obama's LGBT executive order below.



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