Today, the White House announced that President Obama will sign an executive order that extends employment protections for LGBT individuals who work for federal contractors. The move comes months after the U.S. Senate passed the oft-delayed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and Speaker John Boehner announced that the legislation would not be brought to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
According to MetroWeekly, it is unclear as to when the president will sign the order; however it seems likely that it will happen before the end of the month as the president will be attending the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT gala in New York City tomorrow, and the White House’s annual LGBT Pride Month reception is scheduled for June 30.
The ERC lauds President Obama’s decision to sign this executive order. Prior to this announcement, LGBT advocacy groups expressed frustration regarding the president’s lack of movement on this issue. Although the president cannot extend these protections to all American workers, employees for federal contractors make up roughly one quarter of the country’s labor force. By acting to protect these individuals from unjust discrimination based solely on sexual orientation and gender identity, President Obama has shown a renewed commitment to eliminating discrimination in the American workforce.