President Obama Will Sign Federal ENDA Executive Order On Monday
We've known for some time now that President Obama has planned to sign an executive order barring discrimination against the LGBT community in federal contracting jobs. We just haven't known when. Though the White House has kept a mysterious air clouding further details, we've learned this afternoon that the president plans to finally make federal ENDA a reality on Monday.
President Barack Obama on Monday will sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers of federal contractors and the federal government.
The executive order has two components: It prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity -- a move that affects 24,000 companies employing roughly 28 million workers, or about one-fifth of the nation's workforce -- and it explicitly bans discrimination against federal employees based on their gender identity.
Also revealed in the press conference call that took place Friday is the lack of religious exemption in the president's executive order, much to the relief of the community.
Obama is simply adding the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing executive order that protects employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. President George W. Bush amended that executive order in 2002 to allow religiously affiliated federal contractors to prioritize hiring employees of their particular religion, however, and Obama is keeping that language intact.
"Obama's executive order does not modify that Bush exemption," said a senior administration official. "It stands."