Washington, D.C. — Today, in response to news that the White House will delay the issuance of an executive order requiring federal contractors to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination policies, Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Today’s news that the White House will launch a multipronged effort to address workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans, rather than immediately issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination polices, is disappointing.
These types of policies are supported by nearly 75 percent of Americans, many of the nation’s largest and most prominent Fortune 500 corporations, and nearly two-thirds of all small business owners, based on findings from a 2011 Center for American Progress survey. It has been shown time and time again through research conducted by this organization and others like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Williams Institute, that gay and transgender people face disproportionately high rates of discrimination in the workplace and that policies that protect employees are also good for business and the economy at large.
Just as Congress should pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act now, the president should now also use his executive authority to extend existing nondiscrimination requirements of federal contractors to cover workers who are gay and transgender.
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