President Obama announced today he will sign an executive order on Monday that bars federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The president said last month that he planned to sign the two orders.
The announcement follows the recent collapse of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — ENDA — in Congress. LGBT groups withdrew their support for the bill in opposition to its sweeping religious exemptions, which many feared would basically gut protections following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. The Huffington Post’s Gay Voices editor-at-large Michelangelo Signorile has more on the collapse here.
UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute’s research suggests that up to 34 million employees, or one fifth of the national workforce, will be included.
Senior White Officials noted that President Obama will not include exemptions for contractors based on their religious beliefs, as many activists initially feared. But he will keep intact an amendment signed by George W. Bush in 2002 allowing religiously affiliated contractors to discriminate on the basis of religion.