The White House on Thursday scrambled
to explain why President Barack Obama had decided against signing a
gay protections executive order.
Gay rights supporters had hoped Obama
would sign the memo which would ban federal contractors from
employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
But on Wednesday, senior administration
officials said the order, which reportedly had already been approved by
the Departments of Labor and Justice, was not forthcoming.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney
insisted during a press conference that the president does support
such protections but would prefer to see Congress approve the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) sponsored by Massachusetts
Rep. Barney Frank and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.
“We're deeply committed to working
with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build
the case for employment non-discrimination policies,” Carney said.
“Is this a political calculation?”
“Absolutely not, the president is
committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is
why he has long supported ENDA,” Carney answered. “The approach
we're taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this
legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of
non-discrimination.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of
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