White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was mum on Monday when asked whether President Obama would be open to issuing executive orders that would provide non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in the workplace and U.S. armed forces.
Under questioning from the Washington Blade, Carney said he wouldn’t venture out to say if Obama would be open to issuing a directive barring the federal government from contracting with companies that don’t have non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Such an order would offer similar protections that have been proposed under the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
“I don’t want to speculate about what action he may or may not take,” Carney said. “His position is known. And again, he does not shy away from obstacles when he approaches an issue that’s important to him. But I don’t have a — I’m not going to speculate about what measure he might take.”
Passage of ENDA with protections based on both sexual orientation and gender identity was among Obama’s promises in the 2008 presidential campaign. However, the legislation failed to move during the 111th Congress, and Republican control of the House makes ENDA passage unlikely for at least two years.