Dear Mrs. Obama,
Last April, I wrote asking you to please have a stern talk with your husband about the importance of living by his principle that we all deserve to be treated equally. Contrary to his promise during the 2008 campaign, last year when I wrote you, the President had just decided not to issue an Executive Order protecting gay men and women who work for Federal contractors from being discriminated against in hiring or from being fired.
In the year since, your husband has publicly voice his opposition to the Boy Scouts’ continued discrimination against gay youth. He has come out against the discrimination inherent in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the law which compels the Federal Government to deny legally married same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by their straight neighbors. In fact, next week, he is directing his Solicitor General to argue before the Supreme Court that DOMA should be declared unconstitutional.
Yet, despite his words and arguments to dismantle discrimination against gay men and women, he stubbornly refuses to take the one action that is entirely within his power to help millions of gay men and women, good American citizens. For all your husband’s talk about the greatness of our nation based on enabling every American citizen who works hard and plays by the rules to get a fair deal, the President refuses to issue the Executive Order barring discrimination. His reluctance makes his “talk” suspect. The pretext that he prefers to rely on the legislative process rings hollow since we all know that there is no chance this Congress will send the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to his desk.
According to MetroWeekly, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that an Executive Order would protect up to 16.5 million workers. Although workplace protections for LGBT people exist in some states, it remains legal in 29 states to fire an employee based on sexual orientation.
Yesterday, 110 Democratic members of the House of Representatives urged the President to sign the Executive Order. That letter was one of several that have been sent to the President in recent weeks. Last month, 37 senators and 54 progressive groups sent letters to your husband urging him to act.
What gives? I know your husband has the courage to walk his talk.
Last week, Senator Portman, long a vocal opponent of marriage equality, reversed his position and came out in favor of same-sex marriage because his son is gay and he wants him to enjoy the right to marry the person he loves. I can only imagine that if one of your daughters were to come out as a lesbian, the President would want her to look forward to enjoying a workplace where she did not feel threatened with dismissal because of her sexual orientation. He would issue the Executive Order in a heartbeat.
Let’s not have to play the game where we act only when we are personally touched by circumstances.
Ask your husband to put himself in the shoes of the millions of parents whose kids are gay, and who want only that their kids be treated equally, today.
(Source) MetroWeekly: 110 members of Congress urge Obama to sign federal-contractor executive order