House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) endorsed a possible executive order that would prohibit the federal government from contracting with companies that don’t have policies protecting LGBT employees from workplace discrimination at her weekly press conference today, a measure that is seen as an “interim alternative” to securing greater protections for gay, lesbian, and transgendered Americans while Republicans control the House:
CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade: You’ve been a supporter of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, that legislation is unlikely to pass as long as Republicans remain in control of the House. As an interim alternative, would you support an executive order from the President, prohibiting federal dollars from going to companies that don’t have their own workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
PELOSI: Yes and yes. I think it’s all long overdue.
Last month, Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) came out in support of the EO, joining Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The Obama administration has not yet said if it would issue such an order. The public is supportive of expanding employment protections. A recent poll from the Center for American Progress poll found that nine out of ten voters already believe that gays and lesbians can’t be fired for their sexual orientation, even though only a handful of states actually offer the LGBT community protections.