President Obama To Sign Executive Order For LGBT Workplace Protections
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation, a White House official said Monday.
The move follows years of pressure from gay rights groups for Obama to act on his own while a broader employment non-discrimination measure languishes on Capitol Hill. The Senate passed the legislation last year but the bill stalled in the Republican-led House and there is little sign that lawmakers will take it up in an election year.
There is currently no federal law that explicitly bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. While Obama does not have the authority to extend that protection to all Americans, he can take unilateral action that impacts federal contractors, which make up nearly one-quarter of the U.S. workforce.
Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauded the President, saying: "Through his actions, the president has demonstrated again his commitment to ending discrimination."
The White House official, who spoke to AP under a condition of anonymity, "would not say when Obama planned to sign the order, only that the president had asked his staff to prepare a measure for his signature."
This is an awesome step forward and one that we hope will encourage greater action at the state level within the private sector.