Earlier this week, President Obama made headlines when he directed his staff to draft an executive order that would abolish workplace discrimination against the LGBT community under federal law. Though he has yet to finalize or sign the draft, Obama made it clear that the issue is a top priority for him when he spoke out against workplace discrimination at a a Democratic National Committee LGBT fundraiser in New York City.
“Every day, millions of Americans go to work knowing that they could lose their job, not because of anything they did, but because of who they are,” Obama said Tuesday, a day after requesting the draft. “That is not right. It is wrong.”
Workplace discrimination against the LGBT community has been a hot button issue amongst Obama’s supporters for years as they’ve pressured the president to push Congress to pass the the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would go much further than any executive order, which would only apply to government contractors, and ban workplace discrimination among employers nationwide.
However, ENDA has languished in the House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he won’t allow a vote on the bill.
“I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Obama said to loud cheers. “Because, in the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense.”
President Obama then urged the LGBT community to continue to pressure Congress to pass ENDA, solidifying rumors that the executive order is a move to push Congress to pass the bill.
“Congress needs to start working again,” Obama said.
We hope that Congress is hearing Obama loud and clear and that the LGBT community continues to make noise on this matter because workplace discrimination against any group is unjust and should not be tolerated. – nicholas robinson