New Orleans The White House has announced that President Obama will sign an executive order barring discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers. Essentially, the President is adding sexual orientation and preference from government contracts as part of the banned list including race, color, sex, national origin, and religious preference. The order is estimated to affect 24000 companies with federal contracts employing 28 million people about one in five USA workers.
In recent weeks in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision allowing certain religiously oriented and privately owned businesses to deny their women employees any contraceptive protection as an exemption of the Affordable Care Act, some religious groups and their allies had attempted to win an exemption for themselves from anti-discrimination language. Now some groups are claiming they will sue, and some Congressmen are harrumphing about the fact that there will be a lot of law suits.
They can waste their money all they want, but none of them have a leg to stand on here.
This won’t come as a surprise to many, but there are employers who don’t like people of other religions, races, and colors. There are employers who don’t like women. Many of them are able to get away with this, although if they are caught they face charges through the EEOC because these are violations of civil right statutes passed by Congress.
These and all other employers, depending on the states where they operate, will be able to continue to discriminate against existing or prospective employees’ sexual or gender preferences because it’s not against the law. At least not yet. And, none of that is good news, but the President’s order will at least mean that none of us, as taxpayers in the USA, will be supporting their bias and hate with our tax dollars.
They can keep on as haters until legislation passes Congress, but in the meantime they can’t enjoy federal contracts or supports, simple as that. The number of suits that disgruntled federal contractors have filed is legion, and invariably the court at all levels has ruled that there is no entitlement to a contract award. As long as the process is fair to all and transparent, the Government can award the contract as it sees fit within the specifications. The specifications beginning in 2015 are going to include the fact that the potential contractor pledges to not discriminate based on sexual preferences. If you want to discriminate, no problem, just get stepping somewhere else to get your money. If you agree you won’t discriminate, then you may or may not get a federal contract based on the merits of your bid and your work.
Congress already has a loophole for some of the haters. If the church groups are hiring ministers, they can be bigots. They can also continue to “consider” religion in hiring, just not sexual orientation or gender identity. And, they wonder why church membership is falling?
Talk to your lawyers, brothers and sisters, but then look in your hearts as well as your wallets. You want my tax money, then do right. If you don’t do right, step off. Your lawyers will tell you the same thing. I’m just trying to save you some money. You’re going to need every dollar you can get your hands on if you want to hold tight to your hating ways, then my tax dollar along with everyone else’s will never find your pocket.