News / USA

Obama to Sign Order Barring Federal Workplace Discrimination Against Gays

FILE - Gay activists are seen at a rally at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., June 26, 2013.
FILE - Gay activists are seen at a rally at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., June 26, 2013.
Reuters
President Barack Obama will sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a White House official said on Monday, handing another victory to gay rights activists.
 
The White House has been pressing Congress to pass legislation to ban employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has resisted issuing an executive order in favor of pursuing a broader legislative solution.
 
But Obama has spent the year taking executive action on a host of other domestic priorities where Congress has failed to make legislative headway, and activists have pressed him to do the same on the issue of gay rights.
 
“Following on his pledge for this to be a year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the president has directed his staff to prepare for his signature an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” a White House official said.
 
“The action would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
 
Since coming into office, Obama helped end the “don't ask, don't tell” policy that prohibited gays from serving openly in the military and, after what he described as an evolution in his thinking, gave backing to gay marriage during his 2012 re-election campaign.
 
Pursuing the executive order is a shift for the White House, which has said since last year that such a move would carry far less weight than broader congressional action.
 
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate but has languished in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
 
An order barring discrimination by federal contractors would apply to about 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign.
 
It would make it illegal for companies with U.S. government contracts to fire or avoid hiring employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, just as it now is with race. Federal protections are necessary because state laws vary, activists say.
 
The White House official declined to say when Obama would sign the order. Obama returns to Washington on Monday after a weekend get-away in California.
 
“The president's intentions are clear,” the official said.
 
The new move may energize gays and young people, two constituency groups that make up an important part of Obama's political base, ahead of congressional elections in November that could shift control of the Senate to Republicans.
 
Obama has been fundraising for Democrats and urging voters to show up at the polls in November for the midterm election, which typically sees lower turn out than in years with presidential races. A Republican-controlled Congress would make it more difficult for the president to pass any of his legislative agenda during his final two years in office.
 
The order could increase pressure on the White House to take executive action on immigration. Similar to the non-discrimination order, Obama has resisted such a move while holding out hope that the House would advance broad legislation.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ed from: oregon
June 16, 2014 7:01 PM
Now you can deploy them to Uganda!

by: Twinkie from: Austin, TX
June 16, 2014 6:46 PM
I would not exactly call an Executive Order anything like a "Victory" ...
... It is simply more of the same unilateral tyranny that Barry is known for. ... Not anything like a democratic process.
Personally, I think the Constitution would support this action so
why not respect the legislative process ? ... Any subsequent President could just as easily repeal this XO with the stroke of a pen, right ?

by: Ronnie Raygun
June 16, 2014 6:09 PM
I suppose, Mr. President, we're not going to get a clear, federal definition of what homosexuality is, before we're legally forced to accept, yet another, 'unquestionable', belief system, regardless how removed from reality it may be?

by: GRANT MACDONALD from: BRADY TEXAS
June 16, 2014 6:08 PM
Being left-handed – being black or being gay is just as natural. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is love between two guys or two girls … all the better … it takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
June 16, 2014 5:59 PM
President Obama turns to the 'god' of "FREEDOM" of self-rights to support the rights of homosexuals and transgender people.
Why does he not say that we are to do good to others, and to enemies, as per the Will of the One and Only Creator, to Whom the Lord Jesus Christ is the Only way?
...perhaps if he said this then he would be confessing that there is Only One Creator, and that His Son is the Only Way...and in so doing he would betray his desire & belief that it is RIGHT , a right, to be free to worship any 'god', to serve and magnify the self (XES).

Soon, very soon, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the One Creator, to love Him and to love the fellowman, and NOT according to man's first love for "his freedom" to do what is right in his own eyes, to know good and evil as per his own self-justified desires.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs