Executive Order on ENDA, LGBT Cabinet Member Among Requests HRC Has for President Obama

An executive order on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act "as soon as possible" is at the top of list of requests Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin has for President Obama now that the election is over, he indicated in phone calls with reporters, Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:

Chad_griffinThe White House said in April said Obama was declining to sign the order “at this time, but, following the election, Griffin argues that Obama needs to sign it “as soon as possible."

Griffin said he doesn't know if it will happen before the end of the year, but added that he is pushing for that, saying, "Since my first conversations there, it’s something I’ve pushed for, I’ve urged, privately and publicly. We will continue to do that."

Chris Johnson at the Blade adds:

“We need to acknowledge that although we certainly made some gains in the Senate, and potentially some gains in the House, we are still short of having a vote for an inclusive ENDA in the House,” Griffin said. “We need to be realistic about that.”…

“It is my hope and belief that we can get an executive order out of this White House,” Griffin said. “It is something that should be done and we will continue to urge our newly re-elected president to do. That would not be the full solution, but it would be a step toward the end goal.”

HochbergAlso, Griffin would like to see the apppointment of an LGBT cabinet member, Geidner adds:

"We made historic progress with president Obama in terms of our openly LGBT appointments across the board," he said. "We now have the opportunity, and I hope this president and this White House will seize the opportunity to have the first openly LGBT Cabinet secretary, the first openly LGBT G-8 ambassador, and across the board with administrative appointments and judges as well."

Groups like HRC, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and others, as well as LGBT activists more broadly, have long been pushing for an out LGBT cabinet member, and the urging is likely to continue in earnest as Obama's makes changes for his second-term cabinet.

Among those out gay people whose names are raised most often by advocates for possible appointments are John Berry, the head of the Office of Personnel Management; Fred Hochberg (bottom photo), the head of the Export-Import Bank; and Mary Kay Henry, the head of the Service Employees International Union.

Also on everyone's mind is getting rid of DOMA, which may soon be addressed by the Supreme Court, but given the composition of Congress, has few chances at a legislative repeal.


  1. ichabod says

    Nice idea, but executive orders can be undone (remember the whole skirmish over DADT?) Use the momentum of the election wins to pass ENDA through the proper channels so that it is the permanent law of the land.

  2. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    I would not suggest holding your breath for ENDA, or a Federal Cabinet appointee. Obama doesn’t need the Gay ATM anymore…he’s won his election. And he’s got way too-many other IOU’s to redeem to expend a Cabinet-rank slot for a token G/L appointee…plus the US Senate confirmation hearings would be brutal and exceedingly-unpleasant for the appointee. The GOP Senate staff would not only search his/her trash for embarrassing material, but their closets too; ex’s, sexual habits, friends and associates, the full works. “I have in my hand a file that you …”.

  3. says

    ENOUGH with the Dumb Ass “Executive Orders Can Be Undone” drool. Well, OF COURSE, they can, Gomer! We can all die tomorrow, too, so—by your ILlogic—why do ANYTHING? Eat another meal? Get out winter clothes? Put gas in the car? Buy Christmas cards? Blah blah blah. An order freezing discharges while DADT repeal legislation proceeded would have saved NEARLY 800 MORE gay service members from being kicked to the unemployment lines. I dare your trying to tell ONE of them their betrayal was worth it.

  4. says

    And why isn’t HRC demanding that the President/Commander-in-Chief finally clean up the mess he helped create despite the repeal of DADT? Individual LGB service members are still arbitrarily denied the protections against harassment and discrimination automatically given other minorities under the Military Equal Opportunity Program, and gay military couples continue to be arbitrarily denied benefits NOT banned by DOMA. Mr. Obama could erase this premeditated discrimination by recalcitrant bigots in the Pentagon with the proverbial stroke of a pen—which he was asked MORE THAN A YEAR AGO to do.

  5. Gast says

    We should be looking at the midterm elections. We have the power to drive many of those antigay republicans out of the House of Representatives. We should get involved in that fight.

  6. Gast says

    We should be looking at the midterm elections. We have the power to drive many of those antigay republicans out of the House of Representatives. We should get involved in that fight.

  7. says

    Ted B, stop being angry at Obama for doing more for the LGBT Community than your own party and family. Seriously. it’s pathetic.

    and as for executive orders, is it not more wise to have it done, DADT style, in a way that some nutbag republican (that wimps like Ted B will vote for) to run another bigoted campaign, win, and then undo it himself?

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