LGBT organizations are planning on pushing President Obama to sign an executive order banning the federal government and companies that do business with the federal government from discriminating against LGBT people — again. Earlier this year, groups like GetEQUAL waged a large push on the administration for a federal ENDA, only to be told point blank, “no.”
“Allison Herwitt, legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, said gay rights supporters want to see movement from the president soon,” The Hill reports:
“The push is to have them do it sooner instead of later,” Herwitt said. “I do think it helps pave the way for a fully inclusive [Employment Non-Discrimination Act]. … It is the way that the government puts its imprimatur on what’s important and makes a difference in people’s lives. The president would be saying it’s important not to discriminate.”
If passed by Congress, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would extend federal protections against discrimination in the workplace to gay and transgendered people. Lobbyists working on the bill admit it has a tough road to passage with Republicans still in control of the House.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act’s main sponsor is Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who will not return next Congress because he is retiring. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) will pick up the mantle and be the main sponsor of the bill next Congress, according to a Polis aide.
“We only have about six months to prove to Congress and to President Obama and his administration that we will not rest until we are equal, with no caveats, no excuses and no exceptions,” GetEQUAL chair Tanya Domi told The New Civil Rights Movement of Obama’s second term, adding, “We will continue to pressure and press President Obama to sign an executive order for employment nondiscrimination for LGBT people in the federal government, as part of a broader agenda.”
“First and foremost,” said Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president for communications and marketing, Obama must sign “an executive order on nondiscrimination with respect to federal contractors. That’s the most high-profile of the issues.”
Last week, in “What America’s Top LGBT Leaders Think Obama Must Do Next,” The New Civil Rights Movement profiled 10 top LGBT leaders, most of whom echoed the sentiment that the ENDA executive order is non-negotiable.
Image via GetEQUAL
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