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Pelosi Endorses Executive Order on Anti-LGBT Discrimination (VIDEO)

Pelosi Endorses Executive Order on Anti-LGBT Discrimination (VIDEO)


On the same day that House Speaker John Boehner vowed there would be no vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act while he’s in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday publicly endorsed calls for an executive order to end anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace.

Asked by a Washington Blade reporter if she would back an executive order as an “interim alternative” to provide LGBTs with the workplace protections they currently lack under federal law, she replied with an emphatic, “Yes, and yes. I think it is all long overdue.” She went on to say, “And I have long in my time in Congress supported ending discrimination in the workplace for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.”

Advocates have begun pushing for an executive order to end workplace discrimination because they are aware that the U.S. House, with a hostile Republican majority, is unlikely to pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

There is precedent for an executive order, and while it would not be as encompassing as employment non-discrimination legislation, and certainly could not replace legislative action, it would prevent the federal government from contracting with companies lacking an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policy. According to the Williams Institute the government currently contracts with 91,367 companies.

This would, of course, serve to protect only a limited number of workers, but without hope of an immediate remedy from Congress, and with individual states slow to take up LGBT-inclusive (and especially trans-inclusive) protections, an executive order — even considering its limitations in both scope and longevity — could be seen as a viable alternative in the short term and specifically could offer much needed gender identity-inclusive protections until a fully inclusive ENDA can be passed.

Watch a Video of Pelosi’s answer below (via Think Progress):

Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have also publicly supported an executive order. The Obama administration has so far remained quiet on the matter.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.

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2:54PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

nancy is a nutjob anyway you look at it

11:52AM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

Good for her!! I hope we vote those Republicans right out of the House of Representatives!! We need a Democrat for President and a Democrat House and Senate!! Progress is hard enough when the Dems are in power and impossible with Repubs.

7:23PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

@ Bruce S. In case you don't know, Steve is gay and proud of it. He writes about the things he is passionate about and knows about. Read the blurp beside his name and picture. If this offends you, don't read his articles. Back to the topic of Nancy Pelosi, I realize that she is a contraversial person. I applaud her for standing up for GLBT rights.

7:46AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Steve W. - Do you EVER write or think about ANYTHING besides gay and lesbians? After a while it becomes a little boring.

6:12AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Go Nancy! And Boehner :) you won't have long to worry about your vow.

4:29AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Well done, Nancy Pelosi.

3:24AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Damn, that woman is impressive - not just for her stance, but how she was able to understand what the HECK that guy was saying! He was talking so fast, and saying so much I understood about the first 5 words. "Yes and yes". Oh, I just developed a crush!

4:35PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace or in any other place needs to stop! Of course with a hostile Republican majority (translation: uptight, old-fashioned, close-minded, homophobic bigots) it won't be easy to pass anything that involves the stppogae of discrimination against GLBT people, but one can hope. Equality for all! GLBT rights are human rights.

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