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Obama's Failure To Mention LGBT Workers' Bill Angers Advocates

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.

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In the White House fact sheets about tonight's State of the Union, the White House included this line about LGBT workers and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:


But there was no mention of ENDA, which was passed late last year by the Senate and is stalled in the House, or of the proposed executive order to ban federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

There was mention of federal contractors, though, regarding a minimum wage hike — along with a renewed call for congressional action on the minimum wage:

This is the approach LGBT advocates have been asking the White House to take with ENDA and LGBT workers' rights for years now.


Asked after the speech whether the absence of ENDA was an accident, White House spokesman Shin Inouye told BuzzFeed:

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at

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