White House Interest Sluggish on ENDA

Reuters takes a new look at Obama and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, noting that the White House is showing no signs of any executive order from the President on the issue:

H_obamaWhile Obama's advisers tout his record on the issue, they make clear that an executive order on federal contractors soon is unlikely, arguing that it would carry far less weight than broader congressional action. Legislation called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) lacks enough votes to become law.

"We want to continue to advocate for legislation. We think that that's the most robust way to accomplish what we want to accomplish," White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told Reuters in an interview.

They also see no effort to help the bill along in Congress:

…congressional aides say they see little evidence that the White House – already consumed by gun control, immigration reform and budget issues – is pushing to win support for ENDA.

Advocates won't be giving Obama a break:

"There is more that he can do," said Jon Davidson, legal
director at Lambda Legal, a non-profit organization supporting lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. "He has repeatedly said as
president that it's people's job to push him to do more and more, so we
intend to keep doing that."

Comments

  1. Lars says

    As with the DADT repeal, legislation is far away the best place to expend our energy and resources. An Executive Order would be of limited utility to a limited number of people — and EASILY reversed by a later administration. Our equal rights ought to be guaranteed in an enduring way by Congress, rather than subjected to the whims of whoever happens to occupy the West Wing.

    Even as symbolism goes, and EO in this area is weak at best. The message is that our Equality can be offered (in a limited way) and then retracted at the will of the President.

  2. Adam says

    Maybe people should start chaining themselves to the gates of the White House? Seemed to work last time.

  3. says

    an executive order would be useless. all it would take, of course, is for the next P.o.S. GOP Pres to undo it. Duh.

    it’s a real ugly point right now – ENDA is needed, as the ongoing legal-discrimination against LGBT people in the USA is abhorrent beyond words.
    but hey, 34 GOP folks voted last week to keep sexual conduct between two consenting adults of the same sex a criminal offense punishable with a jail term of up to ten years.
    on the same day Uruguay voted to legalize marriage equality.

    so, what are gay republicans doing to convince their fellow Conservatives that they deserve the right to be free from workplace and housing discrimination? oh, and also, the right to have sex with their partners in their own homes?

    come on, fellas.

  4. Brad says

    Quit giving this president excuses. Yes and executive order would be a short-term solution, but it would be a step in the right direction. This president has been dragging his feet on DADT. on same-sex marriage, on allowing same-sex international partners to remain together and on ENDA. He has to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing time and again. He’s only slightly better than a GOP alternative, but I wouldn’t call him a great hero of lgbt rights. He’s more than willing to hold cocktail parties at the White House for HRC but don’t ask him to actually do something. His administration’s vicious and vengeful prosecution of Dan Choi’s peaceful protest says volumes about where this president stands. I’m so tired of people giving him excuses, singing his praises and giving him credit for what others have actually done.

  5. says

    Brad, take your passion and give us instead a proactive direction.

    Your suggestions?

    i hear your anger, but don’t let it cloud your view of reality: calling Obama “only slightly better than a GOP alternative” is not only intellectually dishonest, but it weakens any argument you’d want to make.

    so, i hear that you’re tired of people “giving excuses” – give us all, instead, your specific proactive plan(s) of action in addressing these issues.

    thanks in advance.

  6. says

    Gee whiz I thought Marriage Equality was supposed be the be-all-and-end-all. That’s what Patient Less Than Zero keeps saying.

    Well it looks like being able to get married don’t mean diddly squat when you can still get fired for being gay!!!!

    I’ve been fighting for basic civil rights legislation since 1969!!!!!

    ut hey Madonna loves us and I’m sure that’s what REALLY matters. Right?

  7. Dave says

    This could have passed in 2009, when the Dems controlled both houses of Congress. It would have protected all Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation. But our so-called leaders have been coopted by “gender activists” who insisted that the bill be stuffed with provisions regarding “gender identity and expression” – crossdressing and transsexuals.

    Congress had never even held proper hearings on those provisions and there was no way it was going to pass them, imposing an uncertain burden on US businesses in the middle of a recession. But thanks to the ideology of “LGBT” gay leaders were forced to take an all-or-nothing position. That killed the bill.

    The result is that tens of millions of workers are vulnerable to sexual orientation discrimination and there is no remedy in sight for years to come. That is what happens when you link gay civil rights to the demands of trans activists. We all lose, including trans people who would have benefited from the protections in ENDA, inasmuch as trans people can also suffer sexual orientation discrimination.

    You want ENDA? Then don’t let the gay rights movement be hijacked.

  8. says

    Even though legislation would be harder to overturn than an executic order, would it be possible for Obama to give an executiv order now, and then have Congress pass legislation later?

  9. Randy says

    ENDA isn’t good enough anyway. I’m done with it.

    It’s time we amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to cover actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

    Nothing less.

  10. says

    This is all because of crossdressing trans activists. We gays shouldn’t be discriminated against but trannies should because they are straight crossdressing genderconfused clowns!

  11. Michael Bedwell says

    RE “Executive order not good enough/could be overturned”—then why did OBAMA order in 2009 that protections for transgender federal civilian employees be added to the 1998 order by Bill Clinton covering gays that IS STILL IN EFFECT. [ONE department head during Bush II’s reign tried to ignore it but even Bush publicly overruled him.]

    Obama said during his campaign for the Dem nomination that HE supported an order to federal contractors protecting LGBTs. Are his excuse-makers asserting the HE was being dumb then?

    FDR’s WWII order to ban discrimination against blacks by federal contractors REMAINED in effect until superceded by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Eisenhower didn’t reverse it any more than he, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bushies I & II did Truman’s order racially integrating the military.

  12. Michael Bedwell says

    RE “Executive order not good enough/could be overturned”—then why did OBAMA order in 2009 that protections for transgender federal civilian employees be added to the 1998 order by Bill Clinton covering gays that IS STILL IN EFFECT. [ONE department head during Bush II’s reign tried to ignore it but even Bush publicly overruled him.]

    Obama said during his campaign for the Dem nomination that HE supported an order to federal contractors protecting LGBTs. Are his excuse-makers asserting the HE was being dumb then?

    FDR’s WWII order to ban discrimination against blacks by federal contractors REMAINED in effect until superceded by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Eisenhower didn’t reverse it any more than he, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bushies I & II did Truman’s order racially integrating the military.

  13. says

    rather than “give excuses for Obama” or “continue to be angry at Obama” let’s hear some applicable proactive plans of action.

    suggestions?

  14. says

    that’s not exactly an applicable proactive solution to any of the issues people are presenting.

    i, like many, am wary executive orders due to the reality that they can be undone. so what are your other applicable proactive plans for solution.

    since you’re one who’s “not making excuses for him” you don’t need to “start” by stopping, and can “start” by stating specifics. thanks.

  15. Adam says

    Obama dragged his feet on DADT repeal and he also is dragging his feet on ENDA. See a pattern there?

    All he wants is our money in return for his “personal support” of gay marriage. Legislatively, he is as indifferent as a snail.

  16. says

    so what is your point, Adam? Whom do you suggest “we” support in the upcoming midterms?
    what is your specific proactive stance on all this?

  17. Houndentenor says

    If this were 2009 or 2010 there might be a chance. If he wanted to pass ENDA he would have to have done it them. There’s no way Boehner is even going to let such a bill come up for a vote.

  18. says

    Thank you, Little Kiwi. I’m getting tired of some of gay activists speaking from the bubble. Stop complain, Start making a difference.

  19. PAUL B. says

    Adam…maybe you’ve been in a deep sleep lately & haven’t noticed all the changes that have taken place lately…with Mr. Obama’s help. Take a nice big wake-up pill and when you have something constructive to say…come back. Or better yet, take some of Kiwi’s advice to heart.
    You’re bad attitude smacks of Goproud or some other distasteful bunch.

  20. PAUL B. says

    Thanks Kiwi for all your intelligent comments. I thank my lucky stars every day for President Obama…yes, every day Adam. And, for the record…I love snails !!

  21. Adam says

    The door has already closed on ENDA due to the Democrats’ lack of interest and the tranny crowd’s insistence on inclusion. The only option is an executive order but Obie is not interested.

  22. says

    oh, i get it. you’re one of those cowardly gay men who hates transpeople eh? i say this without a shred of joking: you deserve every ounce of prejudice and bigotry headed your way.

    you’re likely a GOProud wannabe, or one more sadsack gay man who hates transpeople because your dad hates you being gay.

    we get it. you’re a sack of s**t. thanks for making it clear.

  23. says

    newsflash – gay republicans, it’s not transpeople’s fault that ENDA won’t pass. it’s because your own families are scum. don’t get confused.

    you can’t blame a transperson for being discriminated against and hated by bigots. you need to blame the bigots. i know you’re related to them, but you know, that’s not really the fault of transpeople.

  24. David Hearne says

    Most major corporations already have nondiscrimination policies and small companies aren’t covered by Equal Employment laws anyway.

  25. Adam says

    Trannies don’t like being gay. They are anti-gay. Why should they be allowed to scupper ENDA?

  26. says

    Is anyone surprised? Obama has been the most ineffectual president we’ve had, and I’m a Democrat.

    Will be happy when he’s finally out of office and we can get someone like Hillary, who actually does own a pair.

  27. Adam says

    Obama’s trick is to express symbolic support for gays without actually doing anything other than signing off on the occasional gay rights law that hits his desk. He is not the fierce advocate he promised to be.

    Hillary is no better. She advised Bill to sign DOMA into law.

  28. Ray says

    Yea the endless what have you done for me lately doesn’t really seem the best use of political power. Particularly when you have a friend in the White House.

    Educate and Organize!

    Stop whining!

  29. Armando says

    So all this new found support for marriage equality just coincidently started after Obama said he supported it. The country was left in a mess so I will cut Obama some slack. It’s taken longer to fix because it’s been people like us who have been weak in supporting the President and not the other way around.

  30. Francis #1 says

    This isn’t any surprise. Don’t expect any LGBT issues to be passing anytime soon and with Republicans having at least a fair shot at taking the Senate, it may never happen while Obama is in the WH. Democrats in Congress, even with they “coming out” for marriage equality, do not really want to touch our issues at all. Our rights straight up are not seen as a priority and we’re almost seen as more of a nuisance; give crumbs to us to get us to shut up and appease us and that’s it.

  31. Francis #1 says

    Armando, much of that so-called support is fake “I don’t want to look backwards” support. That much is obvious, people are bandwagoning our cause because they don’t want to be seen as bigots. Ultimately, we’re still at the bottom of the totem poll. I don’t blame President Obama on that, though. He’s not really the issue, it’s Congress and society at large.

    Trans persons are NOT the reason ENDA failed in 2009, that is bogus. Joe Solmonese didn’t consider ENDA a priority and didn’t want to get into a fight on ENDA so basically through HRC, Obama and Democrats punted on ENDA. In 2009, our rights were even more of a hot potato than they are now. Trans persons clearly deserve equal protection so it’s not bad of trans persons to seek it, and Bill Perdue, making the same comment under three or four different usernames doesn’t hide the fact it is ultimately you making bigoted comments.

  32. MateoM says

    Actually, ugh, it has previously been pointed that Adam is actually an alias of Rick/Jason.

  33. iban4yesu says

    “only slightly better than a GOP alternative”?, you asked?

    Um, how about Obama’s eating his own words about social security. leaving the most vulnerable high and dry, while the Pentagon is clamoring for $600 Billion with a sense of the entitlement, that is!

    Because, they are all wrapped around the bloodied fingers of the military industry complex!!(Perhaps, not Barbara Lee, the only possible exception.)