Gay Rights Groups Push Obama To Ban Discrimination Against Gay Workers

anti-discrimination gay employees contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) - Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in his inaugural address Monday, saying, "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

Gay supporters hope his comments will lead to action on their agenda on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Obama had frustrated many of his supporters last year when he declined to issue an executive order that would protect workers at companies with government contracts from bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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At the time, activists believed the administration was making a political decision based on the looming election. White House officials said Obama was waiting for Congress to pass broader legislation that would prohibit all employers from discriminating against gay workers.

"Getting past an election always uncomplicates things," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group. "We intend to pick up the issue once again and ask the president to do this."

Current federal law bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, but it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker based on sexual orientation.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye said this week that the Obama administration is not ready "at this time" to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gays.

The push for Obama to act comes as legal recognition of gay rights has gradually expanded: Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nine states and D.C. have legalized same-sex marriage.

Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases that could further expand gay marriage rights. Gay rights groups are hoping the administration files briefs in the case to argue that gay marriage is protected by the Constitution. Obama has so far insisted gay marriage is a state issue, and White House spokesman Jay Carney reaffirmed that stance Tuesday in response to questions about the president's inaugural speech.

Gay supporters have been a loyal constituency for Obama, helping him raise millions for his re-election campaign. And they have been grateful for the president's first-term decisions to back same-sex marriage and repeal the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy, allowing gay soldiers to serve openly for the first time.

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But job discrimination remains one of the last barriers for gay workers, and activists say it's unrealistic to expect Congress - with a Republican-controlled House - to revise discrimination laws anytime soon. Those efforts have failed to make headway in Congress for more than a decade.

In the meantime, an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors would affect more than 20 percent of the workforce - about 16 million workers. And some advocates believe an executive order could provide the spark that gets Congress to act.

"There's clear research that shows LGBT people face high rates of discrimination in the workplace, and we need to pursue every possible policy solution to that problem," said Jeff Krehely, vice president of LGBT research at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

Randel Johnson, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for labor issues, said business owners might have some concerns with an executive order, depending on how it was drafted, with new paperwork and enforcement requirements.

"Executive orders are often enforced through the severe sanction of debarment from federal contracts, so they must be carefully and narrowly structured," Johnson said.

Otherwise, the Chamber has taken no official position on congressional efforts to pass broader legislation prohibiting discrimination against gay workers.

Many Fortune 500 companies already include bans on discrimination based on sexual orientation in their workplace, and many others include gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, welcomed Obama's inaugural remarks, calling him "the most pro-LGBT president in American history." But she said it's also time for the president "to finish the job of ensuring that every American gets a fair shake."

Her group's agenda includes an executive order covering anti-gay discrimination by federal contractors, passage of broader federal legislation covering all employers and repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


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19 Comments

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skidbootinde

There is no discrimination, no hatred, no intolerance, and no bigotry in any society unitl is is sodomized my religion.

April 27 2013 at 5:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to skidbootinde's comment
hp4serenity

AMEN!!!

April 27 2013 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hp4serenity

AMEN!!!

April 27 2013 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
levick

If the world was populated by Adam & Steve's these gay blades wouldn't even be on this earth, also when will the press and the liberal media do their job and investigate the happenings of what takes place in this country, Investigate this sicko Sen. Bob Menendez for screwing these little underage girls in the Carribean Islands and also for sticking with this Doctor who was stiffing Medicare for tons of money, Maybe if they were as good as the National Enquirer who gave us the news on Sen. John Edwards we might start buying their papers and mags. Again, as for the TV news stations I'll watch ESPN.

February 09 2013 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
peter

What gays want? Oh good grief! Don't homos know that the rest of us do not approve of their professed life style and their poor behavior. Their behavior is in appriopriate at best and a mental health issue at worse.

January 27 2013 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey

The correct word is HOMOSEXUAL - gay is used because they do not like the word HOMOSEXUAL.

January 27 2013 at 11:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tizzmine

A person's "CHOICE" does NOT give them rights, sorry little thinkers!
Gay is to be "perverted"....PERVERTED look up the meaning, it is NOT NATURAL!
There once was a RESPECT for GOD but the GAY interests with their PERVERTED CHOICE want
SPECIAL RIGHTS.......DELUSIONAL, idiocy, insanity, wrong, sick!
The GAY want to EVEN IMITATE GOD and say the WANT GAY PASTORS......sorry, sorry, SORRY
They are so tweaked they cannot even get to see NATURE it self!
Stay in the closet that's where their rights are!
When they die it will be interesting to see what GOD says to them, SUPPRISE!pe your comment here

January 27 2013 at 10:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tizzmine's comment
skidbootinde

It will be a lot more interesting to see what God says to you since the only thing He ever asked of us is to "Love Thy Neighbor".

April 27 2013 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tizzmine

TWISTED, DELUSIONAL, PERVERTED, SICK, and STILL WANTING ACCEPTANCE, SORRY!
A person's "CHOICE" does NOT give them rights, sorry little thinkers!
Gay is to be "perverted"....PERVERTED look up the meaning, it is NOT NATURAL!
There once was a RESPECT for GOD but the GAY interests with their PERVERTED CHOICE want
SPECIAL RIGHTS.......DELUSIONAL, idiocy, insanity, wrong, sick!
The GAY want to EVEN IMITATE GOD and say the WANT GAY PASTORS......sorry, sorry, SORRY
TWISTED, WRONG, DELUDED, PERVERTED, what part of NOT NORMAL don' they get, HELLO!
They are so tweaked they cannot even get to see NATURE it self!
Stay in the closet that's where their rights are!
When they die it will be interesting to see what GOD says to them, SUPPRISE!

January 27 2013 at 9:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tizzmine's comment
hp4serenity

I would bet my last dollar that everyone you come in contact with thinks you're an IDIOT!

April 27 2013 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
farmout56

If they keep their lifestyle private, it is not an issue. They do'nt have to hide anything, just keep from blabbing it all over town.

January 27 2013 at 8:45 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
John Martin

The next thing they will want is affirmative action to protect them as a minority. Soon everybody will be a minority, except me and my redneck buddies. I resent the fact that the kind of person that made this country is the kind being kicked to the back of the line by the Harvard elites who derived their wealth from the establishment. . My sub-tribe of the establishment wrote the declaration of independence, the constitution, was four of the first five presidents, invented most of what we have, ect. The Three stooges said it best when they said "your minorities are creeping into our majorities until your minorities are becoming majorities."

January 27 2013 at 8:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John Martin's comment
awpaguy

They can complain to obama all they want, but they need to remember, or maybe wake up to the fact, that obama CAN"T make LAWS. Only congress can do that. He can sign all kinds of his phoney executive orders but the next president can, and usually does, recend them. Of course congress can also refuse to fund anything that a president does that they don't agree with. With obama's destructive policies, and these types of weird groups and their demands, is it any wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket so fast? This use to be a great country but sadly now there is some many groups tearing it apart that it looks like America is about to fade away, like the old Roman empire.

January 27 2013 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to awpaguy's comment
peter

Oh sure he can make laws...haven\'t you seen it yet already? He legislates by degree through what he calls \"executive order\"! He claims he has the authroity to do so, but his actions actually violate the supremecy clause of the Constitution. He does this by leting everyone know he\'s an expert on the constitution, because he was a con-law professor at the University of Chicago, and since most people are not all that formilar with the historical document that gives meaning to our nation (and just about everything about us), he figures no one will gripe or even protest it.

What he is actually doing is over stepping his bounds and exceding his authority that is assigned to the Presidentcy by the Constitutiion. Yet, no one seems to care about this, certainly not the media or cable news like CNN. NOPE! THIS IS HOW HE IS MAKING HIS HOPE AND CHANGE WORK!

January 27 2013 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
jrselsor

tired of hearing of this crap from this group

January 26 2013 at 4:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
rmkm61

Here I thought they wanted more vasaline.

January 26 2013 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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