The situation involving the inclusion or denial of equal rights for gay people has amplified under the presidential term of Barack Obama. Just here on The Inquisitr, we reported numerous times on news that expressed pro-gay rights, such as this year having the biggest and most outspoken gay pride parades to fast food chain Burger King showing their support with the “Proud Whopper”. We also reported numerous times on events that are anti-gay rights such as Arizona’s “Turn Away The Gays” bill and the time a Tea Party guest on Fox News wanted class action against homosexuality.
Now another big event is being reported by numerous news outlets on behalf of President Barack Obama, as he plans to sign executive orders protecting gay and transgender workers from company bias.
According to an article by CBS News, the executive orders will be signed on Monday. It will prohibit the discrimination against gay and transgender workers. However, this only applies to workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies. Now what is important about these orders is it comes at the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case that allowed some religiously orientated businesses to opt out of the federal health care law’s requirement that contraceptive coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge. Why would an exemption in certain health care options for religious reasons be an issue for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people? It is because religion also has strong anti-gay beliefs too.
The New York Times included in their report the L.G.B.T. group’s opinions and insights. After the exemption for Hobby Lobby was executed, fears that the case would have repercussions for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. However, senior officials stated on Friday that ruling will not impact non-discrimination policies in federal hiring and contracting. Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, made this statement on Friday:
“With the strokes of a pen, the president will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of L.G.B.T. people across the country. These actions from the president have the potential to be a keystone in the arch of his administration’s progress, and they send a powerful message to future administrations and to Congress that anti-L.G.B.T. discrimination must not be tolerated.”
Religious groups sought exemptions to ensure that they would not lose federal money to contracts if they could not meet the new guidelines because of their beliefs. Galen Carey, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, made this statement about the argument over legalities:
“It would be better if the president could provide leadership that promotes tolerance all the way around rather than use the force of the state.”
Barack Obama had made it clear that he would be acting on his own soon to extend the protections for L.G.B.T. people because the drive in Congress for a national anti-bias law to cover all employers known as the Employment Nondiscrimination Act had stalled. Obama signing this orders may be a sign that he is now acting on this own in which many L.G.B.T. groups are happy about. On Friday, members of GetEqual, a gay rights group, were celebration the president’s stance as Heather Cronk, the group’s director, said this:
“We’re so proud today of the decision made by the Obama administration to resist the calls by a small number of right-wing conservative to insert religious exemptions into civil rights protections.”