White House: Federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order on hiatusBreaking News Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
President Obama will not sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity according to reports at Metro Weekly.
“Earlier today, we were told that the Administration is not ready to move forward with a federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order at this time,” said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. “We are extremely disappointed with this decision and will continue to advocate for an executive order from the president. The unfortunate truth is that hard-working Americans can be fired simply for being gay or transgender. Given the number of employees that would be covered by this executive order, it represents a critical step forward.”
The decision to put the order on hiatus is a setback for advocates of the measure. Tico Almeida, one of the order’s influential backers and founder of Freedom to Work, was confident the White House would pass the measure by June at the latest reports Metro Weekly.
The White House has not issued a formal statement in wake of Wednesday’s announcement, although a senior administration official told Metro Weekly, “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.”
White House spokesperson Shin Inouye also issued a response in which he explained the president has a long-standing commitment to LGBT Americans including the support for and passage of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
April 12: CORRECTION. An earlier version of this story stated that White House officials said no executive order would be signed prior to Election Day. No specific timing was discussed by White House officials, although multiple attendees tell Metro Weekly that they were left with no doubt that the White House’s decision not to proceed with such an order at this time would last through the election.
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