President Barack Obama is being called
on to sign a gay protections executive order by the National Council
of La Raza (NCLR).
Senior Obama administration officials
on Wednesday said the order which would ban federal contractors from
employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity was not forthcoming. The order had reportedly already been
approved by the Departments of Labor and Justice.
White House spokesman Jay Carney
explained that while the president supports such protections he would
prefer to see Congress approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA) sponsored by Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Oregon
Senator Jeff Merkley. ENDA, however, has little chance of passage in
the Republican-controlled House.
“On behalf of the National Council of
La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and
advocacy organization in the United States – I strongly urge you to
revisit your position on signing an executive order (EO) prohibiting
the discrimination of federal contractors in the workplace on the
basis of sexual orientation and gender identification,” NCLR
President Eric Rodriguez wrote
in the letter addressed to the president.
“The EO is important to millions of
Hispanic LGBT community members.”
The order, Rodriguez added, “protects
a group of people who have a long history of being marginalized and
gives them hope.”
“That is why we urge you to sign an
EO on this matter as soon as possible.”
under fire for refusing to sign gay protections order.)