Obama To Issue Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers
June 16, 2014 - Posted by Patrick McNeil
The White House on Monday announced that President Obama will sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination from federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“With this announcement, the arc of history bends a little further toward justice,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D. Ore., the lead co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). “Discrimination simply has no place in American workplaces. This executive order will allow millions more Americans to go to work empowered with the right to do their jobs free of harassment or discrimination.”
ENDA would expand these protections to workers across the United States, where it is still legal to discriminate against workers on the basis of sexual orientation in 29 states, and on the basis of gender identity in 32 states. Though it passed through the Senate in November, ENDA is still waiting for action in the House.
Monday’s announcement is part of Obama’s year of action to ensure more opportunity for all Americans, a promise he made during his 2014 State of the Union address. He has already taken action on issues like minimum wage and equal pay, issues that also have companion federal legislation that is stalled in Congress.