Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC) has accused President Barack Obama of bullying federal contractors who oppose gay rights.

The president on Monday signed an executive order barring contractors doing business with the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

(Related: Obama signs gay workplace protections order.)

Sprigg, a long-time opponent of gay rights, blasted the president's action.

“President Obama has ordered employers to put aside their principles, and practices in the name of political correctness,” Sprigg said in a statement. “This level of coercion is nothing less than viewpoint blackmail that bullies into silence every contractor and subcontractor who has moral objections to homosexual behavior. This order gives activists a license to challenge their employers and, expose those employers to threats of costly legal proceedings and the potential of jeopardizing future contracts.”

Sprigg insisted that people of faith should be allowed to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

“Religious faith is not simply a matter of intellectual affirmation but of active practice. A religious organization which is denied the power to require its employees to conduct their lives in a way consistent with the teachings of their faith is an organization which is being denied the right to exercise its religion, period. People with deeply held convictions regarding the morality of certain types of sexual behavior should not be bound by the dictates of President Obama's agenda.”

“The President's policies are keeping the economy in the tank. He strangled the financial and health sectors by passing a health care law that's trampling employers' freedom and crushing their bottom lines. Now, as if those burdens weren't enough, the President's party wants to tell companies how they should run their businesses, and how they can and cannot practice their moral convictions and religious faith. President Obama is legislating without Congress. Now, the American people will be left to sort out the costs to religious and constitutional liberties resulting from this rule by decree.”