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Obama to Bar Gay Discrimination by Federal Contractors

Wall Street Journal (06/17/14) Carol Lee

President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from hiring or firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the next few weeks, the White House will be finalizing details, including possible exemptions for religious nonprofit organizations. Administration officials say Obama decided to act unilaterally in the absence of momentum for legislation with broader protections. House Republicans have declined to allow a vote on legislation that would bar most employers, not just federal contractors, from discriminating against gay, lesbian and transgender workers, saying it could lead to frivolous lawsuits and affect the religious liberty of employers. That bill, called the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, passed in the Senate last year with some GOP support but stalled in the House.