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Obama To Sign Executive Order Banning Federal Contrator LGBT Discrimination, But Not The Real ENDA

Chris Geidner at MetroWeekly is reporting that while the White House will not confirm the claim, several sources are saying that perhaps soon  a nondiscrimination executive order to include sexual orientation and gender identity affecting Goverment contractors will be signed.  A “Mini-ENDA”

Under the existing Executive Order 11246 that President Bill Clinton made which ensures that all federal contractors doing more than $10,000 in government contract work cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin but  the Order DOES NOT include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Winnie Stachelberg, Center for American Progress executive vice president for external affairs and one of the people who advocates say has been at the forefront of the advocacy efforts, told Metro Weekly on Jan. 31, ”There have been conversations among a number of people in the administration, both the agencies and the White House, about this issue.

But again this would only cover a small percentage of the LGBT population are Federal Goverment Contract workers and  pales in comparison to the number of LGBT Americans in the workforce

Tico Almeida, the lead counsel in the House of Representatives who worked on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) from 2007 to 2010, and  started a new organization, Freedom to Work, to focus exclusively on LGBT employment discrimination issues states that “We can think of his signature on the ENDA Executive Order this year as the down-payment on ENDA, and the rest will hopefully follow in a few years.”

It’s worth noting that many of these big federal government military contractors such as Lockheed Martin have publicly stated that they have already banned LGBT discrimination because it was bad for business. 

If President Obama signs this “Mini ENDA” executive order it will undoubtedly be heralded another line on the long list of the President’s pro-equality accomplishments.  But in reality will affect very few LGBT Americans and like the memo Obama signed last June, which permitted same-sex partners to use the government’s long-term-care insurance and other fringe benefits without having access to the core benefits like health insurance , pension and retirement  benefits.   Its nothing more than cubic zircon passing for a diamond.

It looks pretty but it really ain’t worth all much.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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