White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was inundated with questions concering the Obama Adminstration's decision to continue allowing federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees at today's press conference.
So, how did Carney explain the White House's election year tactic that keeps nearly 16 million Americans at risk of losing their jobs for being gay?
Carney attempted to calm down critics by comparing this strategy of election year delay to the Adminstration's successful repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Q: Can you make the distinction between ENDA and signing this executive order? In other words, if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?
CARNEY: I think the DADT repeal is instructive hear in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time…We’re deeply committed to working with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment nondiscrimination policies. [...]
Q: Is this a political calculation?
CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.
It is oh-so transparent that the Obama campaign doesn't want to ruffle the feathers of businesses and corporations ahead of the election. As one activist put the move, "This is an artful way of kicking the can down the sidewalk.”
The White House announced late Wednesday that no executive order will be signed prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against the LGBT in employment before the elections. Wah-wah.
Though the Obama Administration has endorsed an LGBT-inclusive ENDA, it did not comment on the news that it will not pursue banning federal contractors from anti-gay discrimination before November.
"Earlier today, we were told that the Administration is not ready to move forward with a federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order at this time," HRC President Joe Solmonese said on Tuesday evening. "We are extremely disappointed with this decision and will continue to advocate for an executive order from the president. The unfortunate truth is that hard-working Americans can be fired simply for being gay or transgender. Given the number of employees that would be covered by this executive order, it represents a critical step forward."
Metro Weekly broke the news after an administration official responded to an inquiry from the publication. "While it is not our usual practice to discuss Executive Orders that may or may not be under consideration, we do not expect that an Executive Order on LGBT non-discrimination for federal contractors will be issued at this time. We support legislation that has been introduced and we will continue to work with congressional sponsors to build support for it."