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."
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 Change.org 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.