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Freedom to Work Shills It’s Dangerous Version of ENDA On The Coattails of Obama’s Executive Order‏

Freedom to work

 

President Obama spoke to BIG money LGBT donors at a Democratic National Committee gala in New York City on Tuesday night only one day after the White House announced that Obama plans to sign the executive order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers and reminding the deep pocketed attendees of the accomplishments over the course of his administration and saying that much more needed to be done.

Speaking onstage at Gotham Hall before an American flag, Obama received a prolonged standing ovation when he said he told his staff to prepare an executive order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.

We don’t benefit as a country or an economy — businesses don’t benefit if they’re leaving talent off the field,” Obama said. “And that’s why I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature, an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity…Because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense.”

But Obama said efforts must continue to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would bar discrimination among public and private employers, not just federal contractors. The executive order he plans to sign doesn’t “reach everyone that needs to be reached,” Obama said.

“It would be better, by the way, if Congress passed a more comprehensive law that didn’t just cover federal contractors,” Obama said. “And we need to keep working on that, so don’t take the pressure off Congress.”

But many questions remain about the planned executive order, such as whether it’ll contain a religious exemption like the very broad and much criticized religious exemption crafted by Tico Almeida and Freedom to Work in the current version of ENDA that if passed, would write LGBT discrimination into law by allowing businesses and groups who claim they part of a religious movement the right to refuse to hire and terminate LGBT employees without any legal repercussions.

In an interview with the Washington Blade Almeida took the opportunity to shill his dangerous version of ENDA.

“Those were the strongest and most thorough remarks I’ve ever heard from President Obama in support of ENDA,” said last nights speech “The president very much deserved the strong applause he received when he discussed the upcoming executive order, and he was right to say that we must all keep the pressure on Congress.”

Almeida and Freedom to Work it seems is still pushing its dangerous version of ENDA of which Almeida admitted last year at Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose that the very open religious exemption was specifically written  “just to get ENDA passed’.   Thankfully it has not but has instead drawn the ire and condemnation of many LGBT activists and organizations.

Still many questions remain about the Presidents planned Executive Order, such as whether or not it will indeed contain its own religious exemption.

A meeting is planned at the White House on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. between administration officials and LGBT advocates to discuss the planned LGBT non-discrimination order, but no other information was given

Lets just hope that Tico Almeida and Freedom to Work isn’t one of the “advocates” or groups invited to attend.

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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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