Today, Rep. Lois Capps (D- CA) released the following statement in a response to the news that President Obama will not issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to adopt policies of non-discrimination towards LGBT employees. Capps was the co-leader on a Congressional letter to the President urging that he issue the executive order.
I was very disappointed to learn that President Obama will not issue an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers. I believe this is a missed opportunity to build on his impressive record advancing equality for LGBT Americans, as he did by repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' declining to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court, and ensuring hospital visitation for LGBT partners."
Historically, Executive Orders have been used to advance equality in the federal workplace ahead of the legislative process. For example, Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order banning racial discrimination in the federal government and the defense industries twenty years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I hope this decision will be revisited, especially since the American people don't want their federal tax dollars used to support discrimination."
Capps is a vocal, long-time supporter of equality for all Americans, including gays and lesbians. She supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and is an original co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act (ROMA), which would repeal provisions in DOMA that prevent same-sex couples who are married under state laws from receiving federal benefits. Rep. Capps was also a leader on the issue of repealing the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. A Vice-Chair of the Congressional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality Caucus, she supports full equality for LGBT Americans in essential civil rights areas, including but not limited to: employment and housing discrimination, immigration status, federal benefits for families and creating safe schools for LGBT youth.