Barack Obama | Discrimination | ENDA | Jay Carney

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Jay Carney Asked Why Obama Rejected Non-Discrimination Order: Video

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The Washington Blade, NBC News and Metro Weekly piled on today to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney why President Obama decided not to sign an executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination among federal contractors.

Carney's answer? Mr. Obama wants to focus on constructing and passing a comprehensive, nation-spanning Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Here's part of the nearly 8-minute exchange, via Think Progress:

Q: Can you make the distinction between ENDA and signing this executive order? In other words, if he does support ENDA, why not sign this executive order which relates to a smaller part of the population to get that policy started?

CARNEY: I think the DADT repeal is instructive hear in terms of the approach that we’re taking at this time…We’re deeply committed to working with partners in the LGBT community on a number of fronts to build the case for employment nondiscrimination policies. [...]

Q: Is this a political calculation?

CARNEY: Absolutely not, the president is committed to securing equal rights for LGBT Americans, and that is why he has long supported ENDA….The approach we’re taking at this time is try to build support for passage of this legislation, a comprehensive approach, to legislate on the issue of non-discrimination.

ThinkProgress also points out that in addition to incurring the ire of equality activists, the President upset some of his party colleagues. Jeff Merkley, the U.S. Congressman from Oregon, said yesterday that though he's happy to hear Obama supports ENDA, "an executive order would be a very constructive step forward and help build momentum to pass the bill."

"It’s disappointing that the White House is passing on an opportunity to make immediate gains for equal opportunity in America," said Merkley.

Watch Carney field reporters' questions, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. DADT 2.0, same backlash same anger. I bet DADT will NOT be law today if Obama had signed executive order because pressure would not be put on congress and administration to pass the bill, because gays will be celebrating fake victory thinking they won something that will simply be overturned by Romney or any other republican president

    Posted by: johnosahon | Apr 12, 2012 3:09:01 PM


  2. Obama is a pathetic excuse for a leader. No backbone, won't stand for anything, keeps bending over backwards appeasing the bigots just to keep himself in office.

    Posted by: Jmac | Apr 12, 2012 3:11:07 PM


  3. is there not merit in having a more thorough process undo these things, rather than a stroke of a pen that angers the country's bigots enough to vote in a Right Bigot who uses his own pen to undo it?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Apr 12, 2012 3:19:43 PM


  4. They're following the DADT approach? Does that mean they're going to extend the Bush tax cuts again, pissing off so many in their base that they'll be required to find a brave Senator and/or Rep or two who'll realize, "Uh oh, we have to find something progressive to shove through Congress to make it look like we're actually Democrats and not Republicans-lite."

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Apr 12, 2012 3:20:21 PM


  5. Littlekiwi and Johnosahon--you're awesome.

    Posted by: Dan4444 | Apr 12, 2012 3:41:11 PM


  6. @LITTLEKIWI

    There's no legislative path for EDNA and there won't be one anytime in the immediate future. The administration is clearly kicking this down the road for electoral reasons.

    Posted by: searunner | Apr 12, 2012 3:41:53 PM


  7. I feel like Obama's Administration is playing a political game with our lives rather than doing what's right.

    Not impressed.

    I personally will not be voting for any candidate who doesn't support full equal rights.

    Period.

    Posted by: Chrisme | Apr 12, 2012 3:42:54 PM


  8. Pres. Obama has brought the LGBT community so much further than any other President, including Bill Clinton. Just because I don't get everything I want today doesn't mean I throw a temper tantrum and spew bile at the President. Politics is a slow and ugly process. Get used to it.

    And as usual, Mr. Belonsky, you drop Mr. Towle's cool and objective tone to insert your strident bias. I don't disagree with anything you're bias, but your it shouldn't be so obvious on this mostly-objective blog. For example, you say some of the President's Democratic colleagues are "upset" with the President's position, yet Rep. Merkley's tone is clearly disappointment, not upset.

    Posted by: ColinATL | Apr 12, 2012 3:45:54 PM


  9. Do all presidential press secretaries start out as insufferable twits or do they just end up that way after having to stand there and take the heat for something someone else has either done or not done?

    Sorry, but this guy is the male version of Dana Perino for me.

    Posted by: johnny | Apr 12, 2012 4:02:10 PM


  10. 1. Despite shameless Obambot lies to the contrary NO ONE EVER suggested that Obama using his unequivocal legal authority to freeze discharges in the name of national security under federal law 10 USC 12305 would alone end DADT nor that legislative repeal efforts should, then, be abandoned. This recycling of their "permanent solution" excuse by Obama, Inc., is the political equivalent of "pink slime."

    2(a). In 1975, what was then called the United States Civil Service Commission removed their previous ban on gay federal civilian employees. Repug Presidents Reagan and Bush fils did NOT reverse that policy.

    2(b). While one of his federal agency managers tried to ignore it, George Bush fils did NOT reverse Clinton's Executive Order formalizing the Civil Service Commission's policy..

    2(c). Mr. Obama himself ordered those protections extended to transgender federal civilian employees in 2009.

    So any Obambot squealing that there's no point in doing this because it will only be reversed is choosing to deny such protections to hundreds of thousands of LGBT federal contractor employees NOW just because they MIGHT be reversed in the future.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 12, 2012 5:20:16 PM


  11. Obama does this for LGBT, Obama supports that for LGBT, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    Shut up and do something, or DON'T expect ANY kind of support from me. I've defended this spineless coward time and time again, but I have no more excuses for him. Put up or shut up.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 12, 2012 5:31:09 PM


  12. We get it, we get it, it's an election year and you've made a calculated decision to not do this based on that. Like it? No. Get it? Sadly. Instead of leading the country you'll take the safe bet. But please, please at least give us some credit and don't pretend that we actually believe what you're saying. Hearing you say it is bad enough, thinking that YOU actually believe that We believe there is a legislative solution to this with the republicans in charge of the house and filibustering everything but vacations and coffe breaks in the senate would be intolerable.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Apr 12, 2012 6:07:15 PM


  13. Can the writer of this article, and future ones, rethink their headline writing. When I first saw this I thought that Jay Carney asked Obama about the issue. This is a constant problem here. I love the news, but I hate the headlines.

    And progress takes time. Instead of posting comments, how about we only work for companies that do not discriminate. HRC does a pretty good job of listing which companies support us. Just like people are using their money to support Starbucks recently, we should use our skills to support equal employers.

    Posted by: Michaelvp | Apr 12, 2012 7:46:41 PM


  14. We can't even get contractors to guarantee that all of their employees are in the country legally and eligible to work.

    Perhaps the government doesn't give a damn about the country. Ya think?

    Posted by: David Hearn | Apr 12, 2012 9:28:29 PM


  15. Dearest fellow Americans here on Towleroad's website,

    Of course, the politically elected self-confessed politician, our President of the United States, Barack Obama, is "playing" political games. To do otherwise would be to be a reprise of the greatly honorable but politically failed Jimmy Carter administration. Politics, however, are not a game when it comes to issues so very threatening or reassuring to our individual daily lives.

    This is a painful fact of life until a better system of governing the multitude of types of people who inhabit (and oftentimes vote in) the USA comes around. If you are actively working toward that gargantuan effort, mazel tov. "To do the right thing" in a den of thieves however, as is our present majority in the US House of Representatives, is akin to walking up to a German Commandant in 1942 Paris and shouting in his face "You have no right to do what you are doing!" How do you think that would have gone over?

    The deplorable yet skill-demanding chess game of American governance is a fact of life with which all Americans must contend, today, in this all-too-real world. "Doing the right thing" is counter intuitively, I admit, the exact method of getting little of that for which you're working accomplished. In my 35 months of working for the Federal Government in Washington, DC, there was not even a solitary instance of meeting anyone, of the Left, Middle or Right who decried the "Master Chess Gamesmanship" that determined National Policy. So, if you want to get something done in DC, you have to have gamesmanship aficionados to get the task done.

    Admittedly deplorable, but then again so are the intransigence of the Taliban, the overt corruption of Hamid Karzai's "government," the faux democracy of Putin's solely owned Russia, and the racial profiling of innumerable police departments throughout these United States of America. All of this royally sucks, but I'm not going to dismissively say: "What are you gonna do about it!" Please, do do something about any and all injustice in this imperfect world of ours that you feel needs immediate attention. Just don't expect the three branches of the US Government to turn on a dime because your sensibilities are offended, or even if the lives of millions of real people are adversely impacted. It's a slow, long slog by design.

    Posted by: Tom Cardellino | Apr 12, 2012 9:58:52 PM


  16. @Tom Cardellino
    You can wait and let guys like Obama get away with their homophobia all you want. Maybe you can afford to wait while he "evolves". Meanwhile, people's lives are being ruined because of discrimination. People die without their loved ones by their side because of discrimination. People lose their jobs because of discrimination. Sorry, but you are giving him all the excuses he needs to do nothing. Me, I'm going to keep up the pressure, keep reminding him of his original campaign promises, keep making him live up to his pretty speeches of support. DADT repeal didn't magically happen. It took protests, pressure, lawsuits and soldiers chaining themselves to the White House fence before this president put any support behind the repeal. So you wait all you want. I've had a lifetime of waiting. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of this president's sorry excuses. If we don't do it now, then when? When will conditions be perfect enough for you to put the pressure on? 75% of Americans already support ending workplace discrimination. Obama is making it a long drawn out process because he hasn't got the courage to do the right thing. I would venture to guess he doesn't care, as long as he gets his campaign donations and people like you and HRC giving him excuses to not do anything.

    Posted by: Brad | Apr 13, 2012 1:49:56 AM


  17. Politics, politics, politics.

    In this case the politics of the denial of playing politics.

    Duh.

    Posted by: mark | Apr 13, 2012 8:51:06 AM


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