In an op-ed today, the New York Times urged President Obama to issue an executive order regarding LGBT employment discrimination as an opportunity to “lead by example:”
Mr. Obama said in November that workplace discrimination “needs to stop, because, in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.” An executive order barring discrimination by federal contractors would extend badly needed job protections to more than 11 million employees who work in states that lack such protections and whose companies fail to provide them voluntarily, according to the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law.
What Mr. Obama needs to do is act on his principles and issue such an order, without the religious exemption that was put into the Senate bill to lure Republican votes. Challenged last week to explain the mystifying delay on this issue, Mr. Obama’s spokesman said that the president supported broader legislation and that its enactment by Congress would make an executive order “redundant.”
The best way for Mr. Obama to advance the issue and prod the House to do the right thing is to lead by example, not by waiting.