President Obama will not sign an executive order barring workplace discrimination against LGBT people in the immediate future, according to reports emerging after a high-level meeting at the White House this afternoon. Among those attending were Winnie Stachelberg, of Center for American Progress, Rea Carey, of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Tico Almeida, of Freedom to Work, Joe Solmonese and David Smith, of the Human Rights Campaign, and gay Democratic lobbyists Steve Elmendorf and Robert Raben, MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner reports.
HRC's Solmonese released a statement:
Earlier today, we were told that the Administration is not ready to move forward with a federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order at this time. We are extremely disappointed with this decision and will continue to advocate for an executive order from the president. The unfortunate truth is that hard-working Americans can be fired simply for being gay or transgender. Given the number of employees that would be covered by this executive order, it represents a critical step forward.
Ten years of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, as well as the research of our partner organizations to include the Center for American Progress and the Williams Institute, demonstrate that there is ample rationale for this kind of order. No similar executive order has ever had this kind of extensive research or factual basis established. While we believe that further study is unnecessary, we will continue to engage with the Administration to ensure that the case is made even stronger for workplace protections.
The White House said it had alternative plans, though the details were not disclosed:
Of the White House effort, Stachelberg says, "The White House will instead launch a multipronged effort to better address workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans. However, just as Congress should pass ENDA now, the President should now use his executive authority to extend existing nondiscrimination requirements of federal contractors to include sexual orientation and gender identity."
The proposed expansion of the federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order to include sexual orientation and gender identity had reportedly been approved by the Labor Department but according to Geidner, the White House is unwilling to take that step before the election.
Said White House spokesman Shin Inouye in a statement: "The President is dedicated to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans and that is why he has long supported an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employers across the country from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The President is committed to lasting and comprehensive change and therefore our goal is passage of ENDA, which is a legislative solution to LGBT employment discrimination -- just as the President pressed for legislative repeal of DADT."
Today’s news that the White House will launch a multipronged effort to address workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans, rather than immediately issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination polices, is disappointing.
These types of policies are supported by nearly 75 percent of Americans, many of the nation's largest and most prominent Fortune 500 corporations, and nearly two-thirds of all small business owners, based on findings from a 2011 Center for American Progress survey. It has been shown time and time again through research conducted by this organization and others like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Williams Institute, that gay and transgender people face disproportionately high rates of discrimination in the workplace and that policies that protect employees are also good for business and the economy at large.
Just as Congress should pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act now, the president should now also use his executive authority to extend existing nondiscrimination requirements of federal contractors to cover workers who are gay and transgender.
NOTE: MetroWeekly reported earlier that the White House would not sign an order before election day. They've updated their story and no time frame was named.
Chris Evans reclines for the new issue of Details. There's plenty to be read in the cover article about his life as a bachelor and The Avengers, as well as his childhood and mom (but no specific mention of his gay brother Scott).
Still, the ban on shirtlessness instituted by his manager several years ago appears to have been lifted.
Unfortunately the rock-climbing shots didn't make it into the main article, though you can catch a few glimpses in the behind-the-scenes Q&A video, which is posted, along with another shot, AFTER THE JUMP...
PURPLE PANDA: Mr. McFeely does not have a successful day at kindergarten.
KITCHEN TIPS: Speed-peeling a potato (if you don't mind 20 minutes of set-up).
DAILY DOSE OF DRAMA: Don't press the button.
MEGAN MULLALY AND NICK OFFERMAN: Americans for marriage equality.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
Just a stunning shot of a tiger in algae.
Zac Efron implements nudity shield.
Will Heather Mizeur be the first lesbian governor of Maryland? "At age 39, she’s only six years into her legislative career (she also had a stint on the Takoma Park City Council). But no one thinks the House of Delegates will be her last political stop. The state Senate, Congress, governor, comptroller, Montgomery County executive – Mizeur’s future seems as limitless as her intense ambition."
Betty White joins Twitter.
Mika Brzezinski: Joe Scarborough is like a "gay stylist": "...he has got a real side to him that knows style and look and color and hair. He’s amazing."
Britney Spears closes in on deal to judge X Factor. "As we previously reported, following an initial discussion, the pop star received a $10 million offer to join the second season of Fox’s singing competition. I hear that her actual salary will end up being more than that, probably closer to $15 million and possibly exceeding the $12 million Jennifer Lopez received on American Idol last season."
Director Gary Ross won't be directing the Hunger Games sequel.
Blackbook: Where are the gay comics?
Marc Jacobs and boyfriend Harry Louis frolic on Ipanema Beach.
Ozzie Guillen gets a five game suspension for 'I love Fidel Castro' comment: "Six years ago he called a writer a 'fag.' The Chicago White Sox issued no penalty, and Major League Baseball handed out a token $20k fine. The difference? He was brought to Miami to attract the fans he has so desperately alienated with his comments. The Marlins had no problem with what Guillen said…until the local fanbase threatened a revolt."
Gay Polo League tournament returns to Florida this weekend.
Justin Bieber lends his track "Born to Be Someone" for Bully promotion: “My fans are always up for supporting a great cause. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of as an entertainer,” Justin said. “I hope they see Bully with their friends and help start the conversation so we can end bullying.”
AFA's Bryan Fischer gets behind "sodomy based marriage" label. Hooper: "Please, for the love of the God that we gay demons are supposedly attacking, use the phrase 'sodomy based marriage' in your forthcoming ads attacking our equality!!!! We are more than ready to have that, the conversation where you, the longtime lovers of 'protect marriage' code wording, rip off the mask and start admitting your overreaching motivations!"
PFLAG fights back against PFOX in Maryland.
Norwich University President Richard Schneider said Tuesday that the administration should have had more oversight of the school’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allies club Pride Week: “My responsibility is to get them ready to serve in the United States military or in the private sector. They’re worried that by letting them do those things and calling them those things, that’s not preparing them properly for what life as an adult is like,” Schneider said, referring to the alumni who were upset. “We are not going to see condom Olympics held by the Army. So why are we teaching future second lieutenants that?”
Apologies for the double Daily Show post today, but this one was too delicious to pass up. In addition to expressing astonishment over Instagram and Google Glass last night, Jon Stewart chewed up and spit out one of his favorite targets - CNN - and their ongoing dive into ridiculous branded news segments.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
There's plenty more uses for a RC helicopter than spying on your neighbors or your enemies. You could film a wicked biking video, for instance.
Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...