This is something the President can do without congressional approval. And with Romney increasingly looking like the candidate, and a lot of people telling me they think Romney is just pretending to be a conservative, so it probably wouldn’t be a disaster if he got elected, it wouldn’t hurt the President to go the extra mile in nailing down the gay vote this fall.
Although the White House will not confirm the claim, several sources outside the administration familiar with the process tell Metro Weekly that a proposed expansion of the federal contractor nondiscrimination executive order to include sexual orientation and gender identity has been given the OK by both the Labor Department, which oversees federal contract compliance, and the Justice Department and that the executive order proposal is at the White House.
Under the executive order as it exists today, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ensures that all federal contractors doing more than $10,000 in government contract work in a year comply with the executive order’s equal employment opportunity policy. The current order prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Advocates have been pressing the administration to expand the order to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Asked on Jan. 30 to confirm the status of the progress of the proposed expansion of the executive order toward being signed by the president, White House press secretary Jay Carney told Metro Weekly he could not do so but said that he would ”look into it.” No one from the White House has since followed up with Metro Weekly, despite multiple attempts to seek further information from the White House on the matter. Neither Justice nor Labor department spokespeople responded to requests for comment on whether their respective departments have reviewed the proposed executive order.