Jay Carney Hub

Is White House Reconsidering Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Protections?

At a White House Press Conference on Monday, prior to the 61-30 Senate vote which advanced the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, Press Secretary Jay Carney may suggested a change in thinking on an executive order in the Act's future. Carney responded optimistically about the impending Senate vote when questioned by the AP's Julie Pace, and he also stressed that Congress's passing of ENDA would be "preferable" to an executive order, language that differed from that he had used in the past.

JaycarneyReports Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade:

“What we’ve said about this is two things,” Carney said. “One, the preferable and better path has been through Congress because that would be inclusive. An executive order that addresses federal contractors obviously would not be inclusive; it would not extend beyond federal contracts. So, we’re focused on getting ENDA through Congress. When I used to answer questions about an executive order by saying that, there was great skepticism that it would get this far, and we have come to a moment where quite likely, in fact possible, that the Senate will pass this, so we’re going to keep pressing ahead.”

Carney use of the past tense in his response — “what we’ve said about this” and “when I used to answer questions about an executive order” — suggests that the White House position that an executive order won’t happen at this time is being reconsidered.

Immediately after the briefing, the Washington Blade shouted out to Carney an inquiry on whether the president is now open to signing the executive order. Carney gave no response.

As of now, the White House clearly hopes for congressional cooperation in passing the long-awaited legislation. Do you think that President Obama would sign an executive order if Boehner and the GOP should succeed again at stifling workplace protections for LGBT Americans?

W.H. Press Secretary Grilled on U.S. Position on Russia's Anti-Gay Laws, Olympic Boycott: VIDEO


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was grilled today on Russia and its anti-gay laws by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl. Karl asked him whether President Obama directly condemned Russia's law against "homosexual propaganda", the Washington Blade reports.

"Yes," Carney replied.

Added Carney: "The president absolutely opposes and has made clear in other countries laws that discriminate against individuals, whether for race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation....What I think the president made clear the other night is that it is in Russia’s interest to ensure that the Olympics are a success. And that’s certainly true of other host countries when they have the privilege of hosting an Olympics. And he would expect them to take the necessary measures to ensure their success.”

Carney said he did not know whether the administration engaged in direct talks with Russia over the anti-gay law, and said talk of a boycott is "a conversation we're not having."


Continue reading "W.H. Press Secretary Grilled on U.S. Position on Russia's Anti-Gay Laws, Olympic Boycott: VIDEO" »

W.H. Press Secretary Can't Think of an Action Obama Has Taken in the Past Year to Support ENDA: VIDEO


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked yesterday by the Washington Blade's Chris Johnson about the President's commitment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which is being introduced in Congress this week.

Said Carney:

"The administration will continue to work to build support for this important legislation because we believe that this is the right way, the right approach to take, because it is inclusive and that’s why we supported it then, that’s why we’re glad to see it being reintroduced."

When asked for "one thing" the President has done in the past year to build support for ENDA, Carney couldn't really say:

“His support for this specific legislation, I think, is reflected in the fact that it’s being introduced, as you said, in the House and the Senate. And he will work with like-minded lawmakers who support movement on this legislation to see it pass and ultimately signed into law. That’s how this process works. This is the approach the president thought was the right one to take and he’s encouraged by the progress being made.”


In a piece by Reuters last week which noted the White House's sluggishness on the issue, Lambda Legal's Jon Davidson said "there's more that he can do" and in March, 110 House lawmakers signed a letter calling for Obama to bypass the languishing legislation and issue and executive order protecting LGBT workers from discrimination.

Continue reading "W.H. Press Secretary Can't Think of an Action Obama Has Taken in the Past Year to Support ENDA: VIDEO" »

Pressed After Obama Inaugural Address, White House Maintains That Marriage is Not a Federal Issue

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked today if the Obama administration's position on marriage has shifted following his inaugural remarks yesterday that "our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

CarneyIt has not, the Washington Blade reports:

NBC News’ Kristen Welker was first to ask whether the remarks — which suggested a national call to support marriage equality — represent a shift in Obama’s way of thinking from his previous position that marriage should be left to the states and not handled at the federal level.

“The President’s position on this has been clear in terms of his personal views,” Carney replied. “He believes that individuals who love each other should not be barred from marriage. He talks about this not about religious sacraments, but civil marriage. And that continues to inform his beliefs. We have taken position on various efforts to restrict the rights of Americans, which he generally thinks is a bad idea.”

Carney indicated that Obama’s believes Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional based on the belief that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in marriage.

“One the reasons why we believe that Section 3 of DOMA is not constitutional is because we should not addressing it in that way,” Carney said.

Carney also said that the White House would not actively move to oppose Proposition 8, which sits before teh Supreme Court:

Well, as you know, the administration is not party to that case and I have nothing more for you on that. We have, as you, know through the Department of Justice taken an active role in DOMA cases, which is why I can tell you the things I told you about that. But on this Section 8 case, we’re not involved.

He later told Politico, "As you know, and I can make it clear, the president’s personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships and want to marry from doing so. The values that the President cares most deeply about are how we treat one another, and respect one another. For him, it just boils down to treating others the way that we would want to be treated ourselves and the President has made it absolutely clear that his views are about civil marriage, as I said, not religious sacraments."

White House: 'Today is Not the Day' for Gun Control Debate - VIDEO


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked today about Obama's campaign promise to work to review the proposed assault weapons ban. Carney told reporters that given the unfolding status of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut "today is not the day" to engage in policy debates about gun control.


Continue reading "White House: 'Today is Not the Day' for Gun Control Debate - VIDEO" »

White House Prefers Legislative Route For All-Inclusive ENDA


Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney yesterday whether President Obama planned to revive a shelved executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination among government contractors.

The short answer is no. The longer answer is that the White House wants to model an ENDA-type law's progress on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell model: that is, fight for it in Congress.

"Our position on that hasn’t changed,” Carney told Johnson during a press briefing. “We point to, as you and I have discussed, the process that led to the effective repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a model for the way to approach these issues. I don’t have any updates for you on our approach."

He went on, "The president supports an inclusive ENDA that would provide lasting and comprehensive protections for LGBT people across the country regardless of whether they happen to work for a government contractor, and we look forward to continuing to support that process and that legislation."

Johnson asked Carney about the ability to pass such a controversial piece of legislation — addressing transgender discrimination is far more difficult than addressing anti-gay discrimination — in a GOP led House, to which Carney replied, “Many people said just that, even though it was in the prior Congress, about repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ We believe that the country has moved dramatically on issues like this, and that this president is committed to civil rights and to building on protections that are necessary for LGBT people as he is for all Americans.”

You can read a transcript of Johnson and Carney's exchange AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "White House Prefers Legislative Route For All-Inclusive ENDA" »


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