Obama to Sign Orders Protecting Gay Workers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2014 2:56 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Ukraine, Friday, July 18, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – President Barack Obama plans to sign executive orders prohibiting discrimination against gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, without a new exemption that was requested by some religious organizations. Obama's action comes on the heels of the US Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that allowed some religiously oriented businesses to opt out of the federal health care law's requirement that contraception coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge. Senior administration officials said today that ruling has no impact on non-discrimination policies in federal hiring and contracting.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly. Since Obama announced last month that he would sign the orders, he's faced pressure from opposing flanks over the religious exemption and given no indication of where he would come down. Many religious leaders and conservative groups wanted him to exempt religious organizations from the order, while liberal clergy and gay advocacy groups adamantly opposed such an exemption. The senior officials said Obama's action was planned for Monday at the White House, and will probably take effect early next year. Click for more.

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Jul 25, 2014 3:36 PM CDT
"What you do to the least of my brethren you do to me." Wiser words have never been spoken. Our gay brothers and sisters need protection from the venom of supernaturalism. Good job, Mr. President.
Jul 24, 2014 10:05 AM CDT
Well, obama has his priorities-- they just don't include 95% of the population. -----"Drink deeply, my children. I'm taking you to a better place"
Jul 21, 2014 9:25 PM CDT
The problem here is that our President thinks he owns the Federal Government. He does not. The Congress owns the Federal Government and it is up to this branch to tell the President what to do. The fact that Congress has been too cowardly to address the issue of the imperial Presidency for the last 75 years (starting with Franklin Roosevelt) does not give unfettered executive orders the slightest constitutional authority. The "authority" is merely by default as a result of Congressional inaction. At any rate, this order against "discrimination" should only remain in force for government workers. In terms of private employment, so-called discrimination laws violate our freedom of association. No one outside of government service ought to be told who he can contract with in terms of ANY services. In case the liberal lunatics hadn't noticed yet, the United States is still officially a Republic and not a democracy.