The Atlantic Wire
February 12, 2013

According to a new report in the Washington Post, the Obama administration is currently considering a reversal on signing an sign executive order that would protect gay federal contractors from workplace discrimination. The move, if seized on, would add another victory to Obama's campaign to secure equal rights for gay Americans, and send an undeniable message to Congress, which has stalled in delivering anti-discrimination protections to all gay Americans. The question now is what price, if any, Obama is willing to pay for exercising his executive authority. If issued by Obama, the order would borrow certain provisions from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect all Americans versions from discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Currently, under federal law, an employee of a federal contractor may be fired simply because he or she is gay — unlike regular federal employees, who are protected from such discrimination.) In the past, Obama officials have argued against an executive order because it wouldn't reach far enough. In April 2012, Obama's Press Secretary told reporters that the President wants to mimic his approach to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, working carefully behind the scenes to ensure comprehensive reform over a more incremental approach.