Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
You will recall back in November the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly by 64 to 32 to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
No good deed goes unpunished in the Tea-Publican controlled House, run by the "Worst. Speaker. Ever." Think Progress reports, Speaker Boehner: ‘No Way’ Employment Non-Discrimination Act Will Pass This Year:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) apparently told the 113-member LGBT Equality Caucus that there is “no way” the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would pass this year. According to Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), who spoke with the Washington Blade, Boehner “said it wasn’t going to happen in this session.” The meeting took place sometime last week.
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Boehner has previously claimed that the LGBT employment protections are “unnecessary.” In the meantime, it remains legal in 29 states to fire people for their sexual orientation and and in 33 states to fire people for their gender identity.
The White House has preferred legislative action on ENDA. But now that the TanMan has foreclosed that possibility, it is time for an executive order, something the President said he would do more of in his State of The Union Address, promising a "year of action."
It would be of limited application, like the executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 hour (the executive authority derives from the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949).
Gay rights advocates have been asking the White House, for several years now, to issue an executive order mandating that ENDA apply to federal contractors. There is long-standing legal precedent for this. Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon Johnson on September 24, 1965, which charged the Secretary of Labor, a Cabinet-level official with strong enforcement authority, with the responsibility of ensuring equal opportunity for minorities in federal contractors' recruitment, hiring, training and other employment practices. U.S. Department of Labor – OFCCP – History EO 11246 and Facts on Executive Order 11246 – United States Department of Labor.
It is a small step in the right direction. The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.