Today, the White House announced that President Obama will issue an executive order that bans federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. According to White House staff, the executive order will build upon existing protections that “generally prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
The Obama Administration has previously sought to address the protection of LGBT workers legislatively via the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”). ENDA would have prohibited employers nationwide from discriminating against LGBT workers and job applicants. Although the Senate approved the ENDA, it has not passed in the House of Representatives.