The bill to end employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees may have gone too far, but still, it hasn’t reach the point where the entire nation would finally see it as a law.
Thus, in a recent string of effort to push the bill that aims to protect the LGBT individuals working under federal contractors from being discriminated on the basis of sexual preference or gender orientation, gay rights advocates have once again called on President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning LGBT discrimination.
In his statement, legislative spokesperson Ian Thompson said while at the Washington Office of the American Civil Liberties Union:
“This is the single most important thing that President Obama can do on his won in his second term to eradicate discrimination from the workplace.”
On the other hand, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said in his previous statement that the administration remains firm in pushing Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), which is far similar from an executive order. ENDA focuses on reaching companies that do not do business with the federal government. The said bill would only ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender preference by most companies with 15 or more employees.
For the current administration, it believes that ENDA would be a legislative remedy that is more comprehensive. However, although the bill has already passed the Senate last November, Speaker John Boehner, pledged not to bring ENDA for a vote in senate this year.
Thus, the only hope the LGBT advocates hold on to so far is an executive order. However, experts have anticipated that if Obama uses his administrative power to sign an executive order, it could most likely provoke the Congress, which would only make it harder for the bill to pass.
Another reason why the administration remains hesitant in issuing such executive order is because every time Obama uses his administrative power, he is like raising expectations that he can act the same way on other pressing national issues like the immigration reform, speculated by the experts.
Thus, gay rights advocates fear that time could be running out for the president to act on the matter. While Obama loses sufficient time to address the issue, advocates as well somehow lose their last hope to end discrimination against the LGBT individuals, they claimed.