Igor Volsky of Think Progress is reporting that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney engaged in an eight minute back-and-forth with reporters and insisted that Obama had decided against issuing the much sought after Federal Contractor LGBT Anti Discrimination Executive Order so he could turn his attention to building support for the more-comprehensive Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit all employers from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.
Carney states that the administration’s legislative approach is similar to its strategy in passing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. (And we all know how that turned out. The DADT repeal waiting 2 years and only being pushed in front of a lame duck Congress because of pushing from LGBT activist and Harry Reid and not by Obama himself. If we would not have pushed at that time it would have wound up in front of the GOP controlled House and never would have happened.)
Q: Can you make the distinction between ENDA and signing this executive order? In other words, if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?
CARNEY: I think the DADT repeal is instructive hear in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time…We’re deeply committed to working with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment nondiscrimination policies. […]
Q: Is this a political calculation?
CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.
Several activists who attended a meeting at the White House yesterday “left with the impression that the administration is wary of imposing additional requirements on businesses ahead of the election, not that it worries about taking a stand against employment discrimination. They want zero new obligations on business before Election Day, this is an artful way of kicking the can down the sidewalk.”
I find yesterdays move by Obama insulting reprehensible and inexcusable. Especially given the fact that Lyndon Johnson issued the same exact EO for the civil rights of Black Americans in 1965.
And as for ENDA its been languishing in Congress since the early 90’s so good luck with that.
Perhaps Mr. Obama was absent that day they went over this in High School history class.