Activists Will Keep Pushing Obama On LGBT Workplace Discrimination


Equality activists refuse to roll over after President Obama rejected an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity and vowed today to keep pushing him on the non-discrimination issue

From the Washington Post:

Gay rights activists vowed Thursday to amp up political pressure on the White House over President Obama’s refusal to sign a non-discrimination executive order, with some decrying the decision as a maneuver to delay action until safely past the November election.

One prominent liberal donor said he would spend $100,000 to fund a “We can’t Wait” campaign targeting Obama, a direct takeoff of the president’s own slogan describing his efforts to seek administrative actions as an end-run around what he has termed an obstructionist Congress. The money will be used to fly victims of workplace discrimination at federal contracting firms to Washington to confront Obama and his aides and gin up public attention.

CBS News has a bit more on the burgeoning movement:

Jonathan Lewis, the son of major Democratic donor Peter Lewis, said in a statement that the president can’t blame Congress for this “broken promise.”

“He has not been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers,” said Lewis. “It has become increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather than principled leadership.”

Sympathetic donors are not being asked not to contribute to the president’s reelection campaign, but instead to donate at least as much to the non-discrimination effort.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today that the President wants to focus on creating a national Employment Non-Discrimination Act.


  1. milpert says

    This movement is absurd. Instead of acknowledging the gross errors and stupidity displayed by (formerly gay now trans-controlled) groups in failing to get a national bill passed by the Congress, they are attacking Obama.

  2. SteveC says

    Obama is a politician.

    Therefore he is a slimy, opportunistic bigot.

    If the US was a democracy there would be a viable alternative to vote for.

    Sadly the US is merely a sham democracy – more polished than Russia true, but still a sham democracy.

  3. Trev says

    Obama’s no dummy. He and his team surely played out every scenario before making this decision.

    Maybe he needed to make it look like he was being pressured first. Maybe he needed to avoid giving the Romney camp a social issue to jump on. Maybe it was a bargaining chip in an altogether unrelated issue. Whatever it was, he knew exactly what the reaction would be and he’s either going to use it to his advantage or chalk it up as an acceptable short-term loss.

    We would probably do well to try to see the same big picture he sees and try to understand it before giving Mitt Romney a foot in the door.

  4. Demian says

    I’m aghast that this Lewis person would use the word “cowardice” referring to Obama. Do we need to list, again, the things that Obama has accomplished for LGBT’s? Those things are huge, and getting them done took unprecedented courage. And more important advances are coming, thanks to Obama.

    Fine to be dissatisfied with Obama’s position on something. But to descend to that sort of childish raving is an embarrassment to the LGBT community and, indeed, to reason itself.

  5. Macmantoo says

    An Executive Order doesn’t mean squat. Geeze. First you need a law from CONGRESS then the President signs it. To issue an Executive Order means while Obama is President we don’t have to worry about it, but the second a Republican is elected-and some day they will be-it will be rescinded. So stop pressuring the guy. It will happen, but NOT until Congress or the Supremes does it.

  6. says

    so just woke up and realized that LGB&T Americans have no right to work, but they think that an executive order for a limited number of workers is GOOD enough. WTF? No wonder after 60 years of the modern LGBTI rights revolution we have no rights.

  7. David Hearn says

    Dump Obama and concentrate on getting the House back and keeping the Senate.

    BTW- George Will has said pretty much the same thing to Republicans: forget the White House, keep the House and get the Senate.

  8. Max says

    Democrats can have both the House and the Senate, just get rid of Obama before the entire country goes bankrupt.

  9. MarkUs says

    Carter 2. Bush One 2. I’ve been through both. The economy stinks on ice. He’ll be replaced. After all the bells and whistles and polls and hoopla, he’ll be replaced.

  10. Joey Y says

    Once I watch an episode of The Sopranos, where AJ asked for a bowl of cereal, and Tony gave him one. It wasn’t the kind he wanted, but it was all that was there, and he complained about it because it was the best that could be given. Finally, Tony picked up the bowl, dumped it out in the sink, and say “There. Now you got nothin’.” Think about that when you get to caterwauling about how Obama’s so terrible, and how you’re going to throw away your vote on some fringe candidate, and then complain to me later when Mitt makes your lives resemble something from the early 1980s.

  11. R says

    Total BS. And he wonders, despite the good work that he’s done, why LGBT people still manage to get peeved with him. This is *low hanging fruit*, something he can do with a swipe of a hand — and something his own staff brought up as a possibility in the first place.

    It’s really amazing how astoundingly stupid smart people can be sometime. Not only did he raise the expectations by floating this to the press to begin with, but he’s way over-thinking this. There’s no political ‘cost’ to signing something like this at all; the people who are so bigoted that they’re against workplace protections for glbt people are never going to vote for him in the first place.

  12. Michael says

    Back off of Obama. He has done a lot for our community. Sure, why don’t we pressure him into making a move that might cost him the election.

    Sometimes I am embarrassed to be part of the LGBT community. Maybe you guys should grow a brain and figure out he needs to get reelected first.

  13. Jim says

    He is “evolving”.

    He supported gay marriage. Then denied filling out the questionnaire. Now, he just doesn’t know how he feels. Just keep your mouths shut and checkbooks open and make your $20 donation today.

    It takes courage and conviction to do the right thing. Mr Hope and Change appears to have neither in abundance.

    Get out your checkbooks though.

  14. Gary says

    Uh, there is a re-election going on and if you think during the re-election he is going to forward equality for same-sex couples then you want Mitt Romney for president. Know the country you live in. The people are not there yet, almost, but let him get re-elected. Times are a changing but history is not kind to those who change it before it’s time.

  15. MCnNYC says

    What pressure? HRC endorsed him almost a YEAR ago!
    And they got what they really wanted.. are turn speaking engagement for Obama at their National Dinner LAST October and a job at the campaign for HRC ED joe Solmaionaise.
    But hey.. You can now serve your country with your life openly.
    Good think most of or community believes in “evolution” and when 80 % of the rest of the country is on our side….Obama and HRC will be right where we want them to be – right next to the donation plate.

  16. Steve-ATL says

    Oh, look at all the apologists making excuses for us being treated as second class citizens. You should eb ashamed of yourselves. You are the same nut jobs who roll over and say “Yesssmame” to bigots. Get out of our way you weak apologists. You contribute nothing.

  17. IonMovies says

    Would the same people defending him “taking his time” be as forgiving if black people were being fired for being black. Or Latinos fired for being Latino? Heck, we have latinos demanding illegal immigrants get the exact same rights as U.S citizen and they take to the streets and create huge scenes and national press, yet gay AMERICANS who happen to be in love with the same sex can lose their jobs, livelihood, living, and not be able to provide food for themselves because of who they were born to be…and we’re told to just be patient and deal with it.

    Homophobia truly IS the worst and last form of accepted bigotry it seems.

  18. Brad says

    So current studies show that 75% of Americans support non-descrimination for LGBT people in the workplace. 60% of conservatives feel the same way. 9 out of 10 Americans think that ENDA is already the law of the land. Obama is on the wrong side of history as usual.
    FYI. The hate crimes law wasn’t even worked on by Obama. It was already well underway. Obama just took credit for it.
    Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming to DADT repeal. He only supported it when he was under treat of lawsuits and gay soldiers chaining themselves to the White House fence. Even after DADT was repealed his administration enforced DADT right through the waiting period before it was enacted. Sorry, but his major “accomplishments” for the LGBT community has been having cocktail party fundraisers at the White House for his own campaign and making pretty speeches of support. Meanwhile he doesn’t lift a finger on real action for the LGBT community and when he gets the chance, like this one to put a simple executive order in place, he waffles. Two words for Obama: Coward and homophobe.

  19. Bill Perdue says

    Obama’s history on GLBT struggles is a consistent history of betrayals, half steps and lies dictated by his contradictory impulses to consistently pander to christian bigots and his need to fool GLBT voters.

    If you remember, Obama started out pretending to be for marriage equality but quickly changed his mind, hoping that betraying us would net him the support of lots of mostly EuroAmerican religious bigots. It did.

    He pursued his pandering strategy during his time in the Senate never offering to fight for GLBT rights. In 2007 while the Democrats were gutting ENDA and letting DADT and DOMA repeal slip through the cracks he silently assented. Neither he, Hillary Clinton of Biden wanted to be identified with our struggles.

    In 2008 to continued to pump the bigot community for votes, hiring anti-equality bigots Donnie McClurkin and Joshua DuBois to run his bigot – read ‘christian’ – ‘outreach’ programs and promoting DNC bigot Leah Daughtry to chair the Democrats convention. She promptly erased all signs of support for LGBT politics from their platform.

    The best we got was a reach round from Obama who said he was behind us, but we already knew from the multiple knife wounds and tire tracks on our backs.

    Obama sabotaged marriage equality in California with ‘gawd’s in the mix’ and went on to feature one of the authors of the ‘kill the gays’ effort in Uganda, bigot Rick Warren at this inaugural.

    For the first three years in office Obama constantly defended DADT and DOMA in court and only stopped in the aftermath of the March on Washington which turned out to be an unexpectedly large huge anti-Obama rally, causing Obama and his backers to wet themselves. The March forced Congress to push through the Hate Crimes bill which Obama hastily signed. Planning on long wars of conquest in Afghanistan and elsewhere requiring lots of cannon fodder he finally, timidly came out against Democrat Bill Clintons DADT.

    Obama persistently refuses to take the need for the passage of ENDA and the repeal of Democrat Bill Clintons DOMA seriously. He’s a bigot and doesn’t’ deserve a shred of our respect or support.

    If you’re in a union or an Occupy group move to oppose the candidacies of Obama and Romney. On November 6th, if you took one too many demented civics classes and feel you just have to vote then refuse to waste your vote on bigots like Obama and Romney. Vote left, write in Brad Manning or just sit it out.

  20. mark says

    With all due empathy for those who occupy the high ground here:

    There isn’t going to be any response to pressure since politically in America right now protection from discrimination based on homophobic bais is not primarily a matter of fairness but a matter of perception.

    The Democrats, the sole political allies on the matter don’t want to be seen as being “in the hands of the gay lobby” which is exactly what Karl Rove will say if the Obama admin caves to pressure.

    If there were vocal bi-partisan support that would be another matter…and that day may eventually come. Look what happened in New York with passing Marriage Equity.

    Right now it is fine to play good cop/bad cop with the Dems but it’s just a game.

    It’s a bit much to expect results since to get what you want long term on non-discrimination it is more workable to spend energy accusing the Romney team of being “in the hands of Tea Lobby” while pressuring powerful centerist Repubs to do the right thing inside their party.

    Nationally and in the blue states Repubs have every reason to do so since the numbers clearly support protection from anti-gay bias.

  21. paul says

    ok guys…if you want to get rid of seriously want a Republican in the White House ? You really want the next president to be GOP and pick the next two supreme court justices to be conservative so gay rights will go down the toilet ? I personally can wait till November to get the rest of the gay rights issues solved…Obama is playing politics but i would bet good money that in our second term he does everything he promised. Mitt Romney ? Sod all for us folks Im afraid.

  22. FunMe says

    STEVE-ATL @ 1:23AM they are not apologist(s). They sound like the same person! It’s the “have patience, it’s only been ___month/years” / “stop being selfish”/ “not everyone get their pony” self-defeating crowd.

    – DEMIAN “childish raving is an embarrassment to the LGBT community”
    – MICHAEL “Sometimes I am embarrassed to be part of the LGBT community”
    – GARY: “history is not kind to those who change it before it’s time.”

    I don’t know if I call him/her a “Obamacrat”. I think IDIOT would be more like it!