“One year ago, the White House staff gave exactly zero persuasive reasons for delaying the executive order, and it’s time for the president to build on his impressive record and fulfill this campaign promise right away,” [Freedom to Work president Tico] Almeida said. “There were no valid reasons for delaying a year ago, and there are no valid reasons for delaying today.”The stakes are high:
A report from the Williams Institute last year estimated that 16 million workers would receive non-discrimination protections if Obama were to issue the executive order. However, that estimate applies to all workers at federal contractors — gay or straight. Based on numbers that LGBT people make up 4 percent of the country’s workforce, the report estimates that the number of LGBT people who would gain protections as a result of the directive would be between 400,000 and 600,000 people.Congress isn't going to act on this. The Senate's dysfunction is more evident with every bill it tries to pass—background checks on gun sales being exhibit A this week—and John Boehner controls the House. Ending workplace discrimination against LGBT people is popular: In 2011, a poll sponsored by the Center for American Progress found 73 percent support for such protections.
An executive order applying to federal contractors wouldn't protect everyone, but it would protect many, and it's under Obama's control. It's time for him to stop pretending that Congress isn't broken or that Boehner would ever let through a bill that not only protects LGBT people from discrimination but empowers anyone in the workplace, and just do this.