"Activists To Launch ‘We Can’t Wait’ Campaign Challenging White House On Anti-Discrimination Order"
Gay rights activists are planning to challenge the White House’s decision to delay an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting and plan to launch a “We Can’t Wait” campaign to urge President Obama to reverse course and issue the directive ahead of the November elections. The effort, which co-opts one of the Obama campaign’s own slogans, will be funded by “Jonathan Lewis, son of billionaire Democratic benefactor Peter Lewis”:
[Lewis] said he would spend $100,000 to fund a “We Can’t Wait” campaign targeting Obama, a takeoff on the president’s own slogan for his efforts to use administrative actions as end runs around what he has termed an obstructionist Congress. The donor’s money will be used to fly victims of discrimination at federal contractors to Washington to confront Obama and his aides and gin up public attention. [...]
“[Obama] has not been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers,” the younger Lewis added, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “It has become increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather than principled leadership.”
The White House insists that it’s putting the executive order on hold in order to build legislative support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act or ENDA, which would prohibit all employers from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees. But the measure stands little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and some LGBT advocates were left with the impression that the administration punted on the order because it is “wary of imposing additional requirements on businesses ahead of the election.”
One activist who attended a meeting at the White House last week to discuss the matter told SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile that the administration rational “was weak, it was shallow, it was unpersuasive,” Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, said. “It floated back and forth between different reasons. It wasn’t even consistent. There were a few younger, junior staffers who made some arguments that were just laughable. Really embarrassing.”