Obama to sign order barring federal discrimination against gays

Obama to sign order barring federal discrimination against gays

GAY RIGHTS:U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the commencement ceremony for the University of California, Irvine at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California June 14. Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing

By Jeff Mason

RANCHO MIRAGE Calif. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a White House official said on Monday, handing another victory to gay rights activists.

The White House has been pressing Congress to pass legislation to ban employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has resisted issuing an executive order in favor of pursuing a broader, legislative solution.

But Obama has spent the year taking executive action on a host of other domestic priorities where Congress has failed to make legislative headway, and activists have pressed him to do the same on the issue of gay rights.

“Following on his pledge for this to be a year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the president has directed his staff to prepare for his signature an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” a White House official said.

“The action would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Since coming into office, Obama helped end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibited gays from serving openly in the military and, after what he described as an evolution in his thinking, gave backing to gay marriage during his 2012 re-election campaign.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Susan Heavey)

Local Headlines

in Local

Planned Power Outage Caused By House Relocation


Spencer, IA (KICD)–A planned power outage is to blame for the lack of electricity in southwest Spencer this morning. Justin…

in Local

Palo Alto County Accidents


Investigation into a two vehicle personal injury accident is under investigation...

in Local

Spencer Paint Violations To Be Dealt With


Those in violation have been deemed to not have adequate weather protection on their homes...

in Local

Little Sioux Riverfront Project Deemed Complete

City Council

The Spencer City Council has approved the substantial completion of the Little Sioux Riverfront Project...

in Local

Grassley Hosting Storm Lake Town Hall


Chuck Grassley will meet with constituents from 7:30-8:30 Monday, October 12th...