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According to numerous attendees to a meeting at the White House today, the effort to get an executive order applying ENDA to federal contractors is dead until after the election in November (it remains to be seen whether they have the final word, or whether activists will force their hand).
HRC is not pleased. And for HRC, this is a big step. They don’t usually express extreme anything, other than joy, with Democrats, so this is significant on numerous levels. This is especially unexpected during an election year, when the first impulse of progressive-dom is to not criticize Democrats. This is good.
Statement from HRC President Joe Solmonese:
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.
It’s going to be tough for the President to avoid another big gay blow up in September when the platform committee decides on whether or not to include marriage equality in the Democratic party platform. With the executive order now dead, there’s even more pressure on the President to come clean on marriage, and I can’t imagine that’s more appetizing to his political folks than this executive order. This stuff isn’t going away.