A long-sought change.
A long-sought change.
“I’m an executive order and I pretty much happen. And that’s it.”
With federal workplace legislation stalled, most LGBT advocates appear ready to embrace a 2012 ruling from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that protects trans workers. Except one: the National LGBTQ Task Force.
The Labor Department was tasked by the president this summer with devising regulations barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.
Hobby Lobby, 2015, and President Obama.
As the White House pushes legislative action, many others are looking for executive action to protect LGBT employees of federal contractors. “It seems like most people can do more than one thing at a time. So, let’s hope he does,” former NAACP chair Julian Bond says.
While commenting on David Oritz’s stealth selfie with Obama for Samsung, White House spokesperson Jay Carney joked that that the president might use executive powers to ban selfies for everyone.
Obama has pushed LGBT rights more than any other president before him, but his administration has been inexplicably quiet about moving on anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace. Members of Congress and LGBT advocates want action.
“[W]e have nothing new on this,” a senior advisor says.
The president’s State of the Union address didn’t mention the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or the sought-after executive order to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. “The longer the president waits the more damage LGBT people will face,” one advocate said.
“Protecting the workplace rights of LGBT workers is a moral imperative,” Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez says. In more than a year and a half, though, his department has remained silent on whether it is taking that action it can to help those workers.
Coming vote will be the first time Senate has voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act since 1996. Seven Republicans joined 54 Senate Democrats in the 61-30 vote to prevent any filibuster of the bill.
“President Obama has provided years of underwhelming leadership in the fight against LGBT workplace discrimination,” Tico Almeida of Freedom to Work says. Criticism comes hours before a Monday evening Senate vote to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — and following Obama’s blog post pushing passage of the bill.
A. Philip Randolph led the planning for a March on Washington that was slated to take place on July 1, 1941. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order banning military contractors from discriminating on the basis of “race, creed, color, or national origin,” Randolph called off the march — but the power of a black march on Washington was now a reality.
An executive order banning contractors from discriminating against LGBT people could be seen as “one party sort of taking action prematurely before the Senate has had a chance to vote,” the head of a new campaign to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act says. A break from other LGBT advocates’ public comments.
As a new secretary takes over the helm at the Labor Department, LGBT advocates raise questions about inaction on transgender workers’ protections — and the White House’s role in that inaction.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responds: “We understand that.”
“[W]e’ve got to end LGBT discrimination in the places where we work,” Obama told the assembled crowd Thursday. Obama has not acted to end LGBT discrimination by federal contractors, a move he said he would support if elected president.
After a woman heckled Michelle Obama about LGBT job discrimination Tuesday, advocates hope to keep pushing the issue. Here’s what you need to know about the overlapping efforts that aim to bar anti-LGBT job bias.
“Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” the first lady told the heckler. A woman who identified herself as a “lesbian looking for federal equality before I die” interrupted the event, shouting for the president to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from LGBT discrimination.
“With no federal employment protections, too many LGBT workers are at risk of losing their jobs and their livelihoods,” HRC president says. HRC and others are urging Obama to issue an executive order banning contractors from LGBT discrimination.
“Banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans, President Obama would extend the commitment to non-discrimination first made by President Roosevelt more than 70 years ago,” the ACLU’s head says. More than 50 groups, from NAACP to the AFL-CIO, join the latest effort to push Obama on the issue.
“We are committed to enacting legislation to protect all Americans. In the meantime, you are in a position to protect millions of American workers immediately,” the senators write. Obama has thus far declined to sign an executive order banning anti-LGBT job discrimination by federal contractors
White House press secretary reiterates a focus on Congress for action, even as advocates look to the White House for more leadership.
With the campaign over and the speech done, LGBT advocates will expect tangible action from the White House.
“P.S.: I know you’re doing your best.” Letters by some of the children who flanked President Obama during today’s press conference announcing executive action on gun control.
Neither the Congress nor the White House have taken action on a law to stop anti-LGBT job discrimination or an executive order to ban contractors from doing so. Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Jared Polis plan a new push.
Although marriage equality advocates have found recent success, anti-LGBT job bias measures have been stalled in Congress and at the White House.
Of the November votes on gay couples’ marriage rights, the Human Rights Campaign says in a new television ad that there is a “mandate for full equality.” The ad uses images of women’s suffrage and Martin Luther King Jr.
Hoping for further advances, the influential LGBT group also is calling for Obama to issue new protections for employees of federal contractors.