WASHINGTON In President Obama's State of the Union address Jan. 28, he did not to call on Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, following the historic bipartisan Senate vote last year.
Obama did mention marriage equality and said this about America's role in helping other nations: "We do these things because they help promote our long-term security. And we do them because we believe in the inherent dignity and equality of every human being, regardless of race or religion, creed or sexual orientation. And next week, the world will see one expression of that commitment when Team USA marches the red, white, and blue into the Olympic Stadium and brings home the gold."
Also not mentioned among the actions the President will take is an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released the following statement:
"The President's message tonight failed to address the needs of LGBT workers looking for a fair shake in this economy. Not only was there no call for the House to pass a federal law to protect LGBT workers nationwide, President Obama also sidestepped his commitment to take action where Congress has left off, leaving out an order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors. Unfortunately, President Obama missed a real opportunity to use the State of the Union to improve the lives of LGBT people by taking immediate executive action to address anti-LGBT discrimination for the millions of Americans employed by federal contractors. No federal contractor like ExxonMobil should be able to take billions in taxpayer dollars without safeguards in place to prevent discrimination. The President promised this action in 2007 and we will continue to work with him and Congress to ensure that all Americans can contribute to the economy without fear of anti-LGBT discrimination."
There are no laws in 29 states that prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the same is true for 33 states on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
See the speech here: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/President-Barack-Obama-State-of-the-Union-Address/46005.html .