Skip to main content

President Obama
Obama signing something, something candidates find easy to do. (White House/Wikicommons)
From Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner:
Despite the refusal of the White House to comment for months on whether the president supports a federal nondiscrimination policy based on sexual orientation or gender identity for federal contractors, then-Sen. Barack Obama told the Houston GLBT Political Caucus more than four years ago that he would support such a policy as president, Metro Weekly has learned.

Obama, as a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president in 2008, was asked by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus if he would support a "formal written policy of non-discrimination that includes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression ... for all Federal contractors."

Obama's response – according to the survey, a copy of which was provided exclusively to Metro Weekly on condition of anonymity – was one word: "Yes."

Copy of the questionnaire obtained by Metro Weekly (PDF here)
The executive order, first proposed during transition by both Human Rights Campaign and Center for American Progress, has come into sharper focus when hopes for a legislative address of the problem of LGBT employment discrimination became hopeless in 2011. From the Department of Labor's own statistics, 22 percent of the American workforce will be affected:
OFCCP’s jurisdiction covers approximately 26 million or nearly 22% of the total civilian workforce (92,500 non-construction establishments and 100,000 construction establishments). The Federal Government awarded more than $179 billion tax-payer dollars in prime contracts in Fiscal Year 1995.
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition begun by Freedom To Work calling on the president to sign it. The petition began in response to a notorious case of a federal contractor enduring harassment and discrimination on the job. From the petition:
DynCorp, a military contractor which profits from billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, was recently exposed for running a hostile work environment in which one employee was bullied at work and called “faggot,” “queer” and “dick-sucker” on a daily basis.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was among many who have endorsed the move, telling Washington Blade's Chris Johnson, “Yes, and yes. I think it is all long overdue.”

On Jan. 31, Geidner reported:

Although the White House will not confirm the claim, several sources outside the administration familiar with the process tell Metro Weekly that a proposed expansion of the federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order to include sexual orientation and gender identity has been given the OK by both the Labor Department, which oversees federal contract compliance, and the Justice Department and that the executive order proposal is at the White House.
Johnson has peppered the White House press secretary on the topic. He was told on Feb. 29:
“I unfortunately will give you the unsatisfying answer that I don’t have any information for you on any executive order that the president may or may not intend to issue in the coming months,” Carney said.
The White House is mum on this new revelation coming out of Texas, from Geidner's report:
A White House spokesman directed questions about the survey to the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign, after being provided with a copy of the questionnaire early in the afternoon on March 7, promised an on-the-record response by noon today but has not yet done so.
For more background on this story see ENDA can't wait either.

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site