President Obama has issued an executive order forbidding discrimination against GLBT contractor employees. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
President Obama signed an executive order July 21 barring federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. . Nearly 200 lawmakers had signed a March 18 letter to the White House urging the administration to take action on its own after legslation stalled in the House.
Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement the union supported the executive order.
“NTEU has long believed that the federal government should be a model employer, and this action by the White House is another step in that direction. Every employee should be treated with dignity and respect and deserves a workplace free of discrimination,” Kelley said.
Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said President Obama has taken unprecedented executive action to advance LGBT rights.
“The focus now shifts to the House of Representatives, where the Employment Non-Discrimination Act must be brought to a vote by the House leadership,” Griffin said.
While the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the Senate on Nov. 7, it has stalled in the House. The legislation would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire or discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
More than 190,000 people also signed a petition at administration website Change.org demanding President Obama sign an executive order banning discrimination against federal contractor employees.