President Obama: The Time Has Come for a Federal Contractors Non-Discrimination Executive Order

In a Metro Weekly exclusive published on Thursday afternoon, Chris Geidner writes that President Obama, as a candidate for the office in 2008, specifically endorsed an executive order to ensure that federal contractors do not discriminate against applicants and employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As Geidner writes:

Obama, as a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president in 2008, was asked by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus if he would support a "formal written policy of non-discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression ... for all Federal contractors."

Obama's response — according to the survey, a copy of which was provided exclusively to Metro Weekly on condition of anonymity — was one word: "Yes."

The impact that such an executive order would have on LGBT workers is immense, and provides the opportunity to create a tipping point moment with employment protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. An executive order on contractors, when combined with existing workplace protections provided by state laws in many states and by federal law for federal workers, would likely mean that, for the first time in history, more than half of all American workers would have legally binding workplace rights. And with federal contractors employing people in all 50 states, there would be at least some workplaces in every state where employees would have legally binding protections against discrimination.

The ACLU views this executive order as the single most important step that President Obama could take this year to eradicate anti-LGBT discrimination from American workplaces. The chorus of voices calling for this executive order grows louder each day, and currently includes the editorial page of the Washington Post. Candidate Obama was right to endorse this executive order in 2008. It's time for President Obama to issue it.

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Seriously? Do you mean we should wilhohtd any complaints or criticisms? Positive reaction to things that are done right makes sense, but besides no action whatsoever on DOMA and DA/DT, the Obama administration sat by and did nothing when a military coup replaced the elected government of Honduras, the health care part of health care reform was dropped pretty much immediately and it became about health insurance instead, rather than any sort of public option we get a legal obligation to buy from for-profit insurance company, all he brought to Copenhagen was a pointless statement that we agree to limit temperature increase to 2?C (a bit like me saying I'm going to make $100,000 next year without getting off my butt and applying for any jobs), although he said during the campaign that he'd escalate the war in Afghanistan he shouldn't have let the general bully him into giving him (the general) exactly what he wanted, they gave $700 billion to the financial industry with no strings attached and now the banks are short-selling the dollar on the currency market instead of loaning to communities to stimulate job growth and so it goes.Obama had about a year in which he had a reasonable shot at a filibuster-proof Senate, and the Republicans showed immediately that they had no intention of doing anything other but obstruct. Obama should have pulled out all the stops and taken advantage of the never-to-be-repeated opportunity. Sure, let's give him a pat on the back for things he does right, but I don't think he should be immune to criticism. Not by a long shot.

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