News

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)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

William Shatner floods Twitter with Leonard Nimoy tributes

Fresh
AP8301290188_13

Shatner says Nimoy was an amazing actor, but his favorite role was that of "friend."

in Entertainment

Bruce Lee’s daughter developing new biopic

Fresh
brucelee

The "Enter the Dragon" star Lee died in 1973 at the age of 32.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Dakota Johnson joins ISIS

Fresh
17-overlay

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star hosted "SNL" this weekend and a sketch featuring her joining the terrorist group has sparked controversy.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: March 2

beatles

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable stories.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

michael-jackson

A look at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.