CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order on Wednesday in an effort to prohibit discrimination in government agencies and government contracts in the Tar Heel State.

The order prohibits discrimination in his administration on the grounds of race, color ethnicity, sex, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment. The order also requires those doing business with the state to do the same.

Cooper and cabinet secretaries who were defendants in a lawsuit that challenged the provisions of HB 2 and HB 142 also submitted a consent decree. If approved by a judge, the settlement would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice in public facilities.

“Earlier this year, I said there was more work to do to protect against discrimination and make North Carolina a welcoming state,” Cooper said in a press release. “Today’s executive order and consent decree are important steps toward fighting discrimination and enacting protections throughout state government and across our state.”

According to the governor's press office, the executive order will affect 55,000 people employed by the executive agencies, in addition to the 3,000-plus vendors under contract.

Click here or scroll down to read the order's fact sheet: