LGBT Advocates Push Obama for Executive Order on Discrimination

 LGBT Advocates Push Obama
for Executive Order on
By Shaun Knittel
Best Gay News Magazine Staff Writer
Gay-rights advocates, buoyed by
the approval of same-sex marriage in several states on Election Day, plan to
push President
Obama to go big on their agenda in his second term. According to, the gay groups plan to prod the
president to sign an executive order that would ban discrimination by federal
contractors against gay and transgendered people.
The advocates argue that if Obama
signs the order it could encourage Capitol Hill to pass broader legislation
that would extend a similar ban to employers.
According to, The
White House shelved the executive order earlier this year, but it remains a top
priority for gay-rights supporters want to see movement from the president
“The push is to have them do
it sooner instead of later,” Allison Herwitt , legislative director for
the Human Rights Campaign, 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.
Obama has earned praise from
gay-rights advocates for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and for endorsing
same-sex marriage. Further, his administration has said expressed support for
the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the past. An executive order could move
much faster, though, because it would only require a stroke of the president’s

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