An amendment to the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA) that sought to undermine an executive order
prohibiting LGBT discrimination among federal contractors won't be
included in the final bill.
President Barack Obama's 2014 order
prohibits contractors doing more than $10,000 a year in business with
the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual
orientation and gender identity.
Freshman Rep. Steve Russell, a
Republican from Oklahoma, introduced an amendment that would allow
“any religious corporation, religious association, religious
educational institution or religious society” doing business with
the U.S. government to skirt Obama's requirements.
Blade quoted an aide as saying during a briefing with
reporters that the amendment would not be included in the final
version of this year's defense authorization bill, which is expected
to reach the House floor for a vote on Friday.
The reason for the omission, however,
suggests the “problem” has not be put to rest.
“The Russell amendment was in
response to the executive orders,” the aide said. “The NDAA was
always an imperfect remedy for that problem. Subsequent to the
election, new paths have opened up to address those issues. It's
still a very important issue for members and they intend to pursue
those other paths.”