In a blow to activists in the gay community, White House officials say that no executive order is likely forthcoming to address discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation among federal contractors.
“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,” a senior administration official said.
“We are deeply committed to working hand-in-hand with the LGBT community to enlist support from key stakeholders and other decision-makers, and to continue to engage with and educate the business community and the public more broadly about the importance of employment nondiscrimination and the importance of passing ENDA,” the official said.
Activists have been pushing the White House to issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity among federal contractors. One same-sex couple held a press conference right before the White House Easter Egg roll, hoping to spur the administration to action. Reports in January indicated that the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice had both approved of a draft of the order.
The White House now says they will try to work on congressional legislation instead. Such legislation is not likely a top priority in a GOP controlled House.
The decision was announced to a group of gay rights activists and organizations at a 3 PM meeting at the White House. Metro Weekly reported the attendees hailed from Center for American Progress, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Freedom to Work and the Human Rights Campaign.
Obama is under pressure from some gay activists to endorse same-sex marriage — and his refusal to address discrimination through executive order is unlikely to help him among those in the community who are hoping for a more forceful stance on equality from
This article originally appeared on: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/04/white-house-no-sexual-orientation-nondiscrimination-120277.html