Passage of a gay protections bill and
repeal of the federal ban on gay marriage are “priorities” for
President Obama, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told
reporters last week.
“We talked about DOMA a few days ago,
ENDA, and other things that are important to build off the progress
of repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'” Gibbs
said in response to a question from a Washington Blade
reporter. “I think those continue to be priorities of the
president's and we will certainly work to make progress on those
fronts in obviously a much more challenging Congress over the course
of the next two years.”
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA) would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation
and gender identity (transgender protections). The bill enjoyed
strong support in the previous session of the House but passage in
the Senate remained in doubt.
Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), the Clinton-era law that bans federal agencies from
recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, however,
never appeared to be a Congressional priority.
New York Representative Jerrold
Nadler's Respect of Marriage Act was introduced in 2009 and
suffered from a lack of co-sponsors.