Washington Post Claims “No Principled Reason” for Obama to Drag Feet on Workplace Protections

Thursday, April 19th, 2012   Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Media Contact: Heather Cronk, heather@getequal.org

Washington Post Claims “No Principled Reason” for Obama to Drag Feet on Workplace Protections

GetEQUAL Challenges White House to Issue a “Down Payment” on ENDA by Signing Executive Order

WASHINGTON, DC — In another challenge to the White House’s refusal to sign an Executive Order barring LGBT discrimination among federal contractors, The Washington Post called on President Obama to sign this order immediately. This call by The Post is the second call from the newspaper — and heightens the pressure on President Obama to put his pen to paper without delay.

GetEQUAL Managing Director Heather Cronk said, “Today’sĀ editorial says exactly what Americans across the country are saying — that the President needs to show leadership on workplace discrimination by refusing to allow government funding to be used to discriminate. While we applaud the President’s support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that piece of legislation likely won’t see the light of day in a Boehner-led House of Representatives. ENDA should have passed in 2010 when Democrats held the House and the Senate — and while GetEQUAL activists were being arrested at the Capitol to try and force Democrats to show leadership on ENDA, we didn’t see the President lifting a finger. The President can put a down payment on ENDA by signing this Executive Order.”

Today’s Post editorial states that “there is no principled reason for refusing to extend such workplace protections to millions of Americans.” The piece goes on to say, “ENDA, which would extend prohibitions against sexual orientation discrimination to all but the smallest private-sector employers, is a worthy piece of legislation, but its passage appears remote and likely will remain so if conservatives control either chamber of Congress or if the GOP candidate captures the White House in November.”

Cronk continued, “We also want an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed through Congress — and this isn’t an either/or situation. In order to fully level the playing field for LGBT Americans, we need both ENDA and an Executive Order — and the White House knows that. We won’t fall for an election year bait-and-switch — we’re calling on the President to be the ‘fierce advocate’ he promised us he would be. We’re looking for the White House to be just as passionate about LGBT equality as they are about LGBT campaign contributions, which the re-election campaign has been happy to accept.”

This Executive Order has been embraced by The Washington Post, The New York Times, 72 Members of Congress, LGBT organizations, allied progressive organizations, and civil rights organizations. Recent polling indicates that 73% of likely 2012 voters support such executive action, and recent reports indicate that both the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor have approved language for such an order. Executive Order 11246 prohibits discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and was signed in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson. This Executive Order has been extraordinarily durable, resisting challenge by all branches of government for over 45 years.

GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit: http://www.getequal.org. You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GetEQUAL, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.

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