News

Obama to sign order barring federal discrimination against gays

Obama to sign order barring federal discrimination against gays

GAY RIGHTS:U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during the commencement ceremony for the University of California, Irvine at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California June 14. Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing

By Jeff Mason

RANCHO MIRAGE Calif. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a White House official said on Monday, handing another victory to gay rights activists.

The White House has been pressing Congress to pass legislation to ban employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has resisted issuing an executive order in favor of pursuing a broader, legislative solution.

But Obama has spent the year taking executive action on a host of other domestic priorities where Congress has failed to make legislative headway, and activists have pressed him to do the same on the issue of gay rights.

“Following on his pledge for this to be a year of action to expand opportunity for all Americans, the president has directed his staff to prepare for his signature an Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” a White House official said.

“The action would build upon existing protections, which generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Since coming into office, Obama helped end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibited gays from serving openly in the military and, after what he described as an evolution in his thinking, gave backing to gay marriage during his 2012 re-election campaign.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Susan Heavey)

Recent Headlines

15 hours ago in Sports

The weekend sports schedule

superbowlball

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s major sporting events.

15 hours ago in Sports

The week’s best sports shots

Mark Macaspac leaps off the Super Bowl 50 sign inside Super Bowl City Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in San Francisco. The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A look at some of the biggest moments and best plays in sports this week.

15 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Puppies predict Super Bowl 50

15-overlay-5

Right or wrong, one thing is for sure: these puppies are adorable!

16 hours ago in Sports

Broncos, Panthers set to deliver Super finish to season

16-overlay-4

The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are primed to provide a grand finish worthy of a landmark Super Bowl 50 on Sunday and cap a season of celebration by the National Football League.

16 hours ago in Entertainment

McDonald’s serving up ‘smarter’ Happy Meals

18-overlay-2

Ronald McDonald plans to serve up a side of literacy as the fast food giant swaps toys for millions of books.