Obama Pushes for Economy Where "Everybody Gets a Fair Shot" -- As LGBT Workers Wait

Posted by Chris Geidner
April 18, 2012 5:30 PM |

Obama 500w.jpg[Photo: President Obama at a White House LGBT Pride Month Reception. (Photo by Ward Morrison.)]

"Should we settle for an economy where a few people do really well and then a growing number are struggling to get by? Or do we build an economy where people ... [ha]ve got a chance to get ahead, where there are ladders of opportunity, where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules?"

President Obama, whose White House last week announced his decision not to take executive action to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, posed those questions at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, today.

Although Obama portrayed the first question as rhetorically referencing the Republican theory of economics and governing and the second as his and the Democrats' theory, the discussion from White House press secretary Jay Carney was less ambitious on Tuesday, April 17.

"At this time, we believe that the right approach is to build support for passage of [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] legislation," he said of legislation that is almost certain not to come to consideration in the Republican-led House and staying away from talking about LGBT workers getting a "fair shot" in this Congress.

Instead, Carney said, "[A]t this time we are not pursuing an executive order. I'm not going to speculate about executive orders that may or may not be pursued in the future. What I'm saying is: Right now, we're not."

In a Roll Call article published earlier today, out gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) took issue with that decision, saying, "Without a Congress that's willing to pass [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], I wish the president was a little more aggressive to pursue nondiscrimination."

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