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News & Politics News & Politics

Obama Drafting Executive Order On LGBT Job Discrimination

Posted by on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:10 PM
  • 63 Replies

Obama Drafting Executive Order On LGBT Job Discrimination

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has directed his staff to draft an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors, a White House official told The Huffington Post.

The move is the clearest indication to date that the administration is prepared to take action on LGBT rights where Congress has fallen short. Notably, the official would not say whether the president will sign the order into law on Monday -- suggesting the White House is leaking the news to warn lawmakers that they have a limited window to pass more sweeping workplace discrimination legislation before he acts without them.

"The president’s intentions are clear," the official said, when asked whether Obama would sign the order. "We will keep you posted."

Obama’s plan to draft an executive order comes after years of inaction on this front. The administration has been calling on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal for employers nationwide to fire or harass someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill passed the Senate, but as it stalled in the House, pressure mounted on the president to act in ways that don't require legislative approval.

To the dismay of LGBT rights groups, Obama has resisted taking matters into his own hands. An executive order banning workplace discrimination against employees of federal contractors could affect as many as 16 million workers, but Obama has not issued one, despite pledges to do so during the 2008 campaign. Vice President Joe Biden appeared to get out in front of the president last month when he told The Huffington Post he didn't see a downside to such an order, but that statement did not lead to any action until Monday.

"Unfortunately Congress has been paralyzed to act in this regard," said Richard Socarides, a Democratic strategist and former advisor on gay rights to President Bill Clinton. "The Senate passed an ENDA bill, it stalled in the House. It looks like at best we will have a divided Congress for two more years at least. So that ENDA bill is going nowhere and I think the president was forced to act and showed a lot of courage in doing so."

The executive order being drafted by the president's staff would "build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," according to the White House official.

"Today, millions of Americans in most states in the country go to work every day knowing they could lose their jobs simply because of who they are or who they love," the official said. "No current federal law adequately protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers from employment discrimination. That’s why the President has long supported federal legislation to explicitly prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."

The timing of the announcement comes a day before Obama is set to give remarks at a Democratic National Committee LGBT gala in New York City and coincides nicely with his designation of June as LGBT Pride Month. It also comes in a year when the president has vowed to use his executive authority whenever he can in the absence of needed congressional action.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a sponsor of the Senate's ENDA bill, praised Obama's move and noted that most people don't even know that it's still legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in 32 states.

“With this announcement, the arc of history bends a little farther toward justice," Merkley said. "This executive order will allow millions more Americans to go to work empowered with the right to do their jobs free of harassment or discrimination."

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president, tweeted her support for the executive order shortly after the news broke.

This story has been updated to include comments from Sen. Jeff Merkley and Valerie Jarrett.

by on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mustbeGRACE
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM
2 moms liked this

People are sick to death of the "gay" problem and Obama is a shitty President.


ndfan
by Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM

 Everyone has the right to work and not have to be harrassed or discriminated against.

mikiemom
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:19 PM

this is very good news

mikiemom
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM
3 moms liked this

 this order is a step towards ensuring that you no longer have to hear about it. Once equality is won for all then you can crawl into your little hole and hide from society. Unless of course your kind comes up with another group to persecute. You (general you) are no longer allowed to persecute based on Race, Religion, National Origin (even though many still do that by ASSuming that all hispanics are illegal).

Quoting mustbeGRACE:

People are sick to death of the "gay" problem and Obama is a shitty President.

 

 

PamR
by Platinum Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM
5 moms liked this


Quoting mustbeGRACE:

People are sick to death of the "gay" problem and Obama is a shitty President.


The only gay problem the country has is shitty people who think it's fine to discriminate against other Americans.  Everyone has a right to work.  No one has a right to discriminate based on sexual orientation.  Shitty people should get the fuck over it.

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM
1 mom liked this

Why doesn't he just draft an executive order making himself king?

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:38 PM
1 mom liked this

 He didn't do that?

Quoting erika9009:

Why doesn't he just draft an executive order making himself king?

 

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Sad that the Indonesia school systems didn't teach Government or Civics.

Sad that US school systems don't seem to either.

bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM

If there is already laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation then the real issue is enforcement, not the need for more laws orders.  Doesn't Title VII cover sexual orientation?

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jun. 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM
1 mom liked this

He acts like he did

Congress passes laws, not the president.

There's a reason for that...........................So, we don't get one person controlling the entire country.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 He didn't do that?

Quoting erika9009:

Why doesn't he just draft an executive order making himself king?



____________________________________________________

Erika..

The best things in life are not things.

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