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)

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

51 mins ago in Entertainment

Johnny Depp wigs out as Donald Trump in spoof biopic

Fresh
16-overlay-11

The Hollywood actor dons a Trump-style hairpiece to lampoon the presidential hopeful in the 50-minute comedy for Funny or Die alongside a star-studded cast including Alfred Molina, Henry Winkle

1 hour ago in Entertainment

Another ‘Harry Potter’ book in the works

Fresh
harrypotter

Fans will have the chance to read another installment in J.K. Rowling's wizard series when her new play is published as a book.

2 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Oh mother …

Fresh
23-overlay-3

Is it the worst "Family Feud" answer ever? Judge for yourself.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Bad Boys 3’ is happening

willsmithmartin

Will Smith has promised fans "Bad Boys 3" will happen after meeting up with co-star Martin Lawrence for the first time in two years.

5 hours ago in Music

Eagles stars to honor Glenn Frey at Grammys

glennfrey

Frey's bandmates Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh, and Tim Schmidt will reunite at the awards show to perform a poignant tribute to the late rocker.