Gay Marriage

Better Than ENDA: Obama Bans Anti-Gay Discrimination by Government Contractors

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Gays no longer denied access to horrible pork projects. Yay!
White House

President Barack Obama has been pushed for years by gay activists to ban contractors with the federal government from discriminating against gay and transgender employees through the use of his executive power. They finally got their wish this week. On Monday, Obama signed such an order, prohibiting workplace discrimination by federal government agencies and anybody contracting with the government. And no, it doesn't contain a religious exemption clause.

It's not unreasonable for the president to define the terms in which others may do business with the government, just as a CEO may implement non-discrimination policies for his or her own business, as long as these rules are fairly and consistently applied. It's preferable to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would present a blanket ban on anti-gay or anti-transgender workplace discrimination in the private sector. ENDA is a violation of business operators' rights of free association. But nobody has a right to a contract with the government.

If there's something for libertarians to be disappointed about with this executive order, the number of Americans who work for a company with federal government contracts will fill them with misery. The Associated Press notes:

The change for federal contracting will impact some 24,000 companies with 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce. Many large federal contractors already have employment policies barring anti-gay workplace discrimination. However, the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimates that the executive order would extend protections to about 14 million workers whose employers or states currently do not have such nondiscrimination policies.

One out of five working Americans works for a company that earns money from the federal government in some fashion. Sure, I'm a supporter of public-private partnerships to help contain costs, but those numbers are a pretty strong indicator of how extensive federal government reach has become. And keep in mind, that doesn't include direct federal government employees.

Read the White House's fact sheet here.

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  1. Holy sweet fuck. If nothing says shrink the government dramatically, that’s it. Not the gay part, the fingers everywhere part.

    1. So, the lesbian part?

      1. Government is omnisexual.

        1. Go on…

          1. It fucks everyone and everything.

  2. “”””Sure, I’m a supporter of public-private partnerships to help contain costs,”””

    Then you are wrong. Public/Private partnerships are just a tool to hide responsibility. Its a shell game where both sides work together to maximize their own profits and minimize responsibility while dumping the costs on the taxpayer and customers.

    We need to separate Public and Private not have them doing deals with each other at the taxpayer and customers expense

    1. I don’t want partnerships. I want a free market. Government as a purchaser isn’t quite as bad, though it abuses that power as well.

      1. Agreed.

        Its hard enough to figure out where taxpayer money is going, mixing it up with private money just allows the partnership to play accounting games to their advantage.

        1. I do not know why ANYONE would voluntarily partner with the government.

          Had a buddy who attempted this. The government outright broke its contract, fraudulently claimed incompetence on the part of the private business and stuck the business with a $4M debt. Almost put my buddy out of business.

          Their response…FYTW.

          Anyone partnering with the government, does so at his own peril.

          1. I do not know why ANYONE would voluntarily partner with the government.

            Easy money and lots of it. That’s why. My last government contract was like a paid vacation.

            1. That’s working FOR the government under contract. I don’t think that’s what a private/public partnership means.

              In my buddy’s case, he contracted for (“required”, yet underemployed)government employees to mill a product for him to turn around and sell.

              They outright and intentionally broke their contract. FYTW!

      2. Government as a purchaser and public private partnerships are the worst option, because they allow companies to bleed tax payers dry without any accountability.

        Government should be small, but if it provides goods and services, those should be provided by public employees with long term accountability and stiff penalties for misconduct and incompetence.

  3. As we all know, if a company doesn’t have an explicit policy or fall under the jurisdiction of a law prohibiting it, then they are definitely discriminating against everyone they can.

  4. But nobody has a right to a contract with the government.

    So, if the government were to refuse to contract with any business that was owned by women, that would be okay? Since the government is funded by taxes collected by force from all, they are clearly not like any other company or CEO.

    1. SKWERLZ!!11!!!

  5. But nobody has a right to a contract with the government.

    So, if the government were to refuse to contract with any business that was owned by women, that would be okay? Since the government is funded by taxes collected by force from the population at large, they are clearly not like any other company or CEO.

  6. From HuffPo comments — behold the insight:

    “a holes. What is it about ensuring that American citizens get health care that gets these guys so worked up?”

    MONEY. THERE’S BIG MONEY IN HEALTHCARE. THAT’S ALL THEY WANT. IF YOU DON’T THINK REPUBLICANS AREN’T WHITE COLLAR CRIMINALS…YOU AREN’T SEEING REALITY”

    “Andrew B. Suhrer ? Top Commenter ? Coos Bay, Oregon
    The GOPers like watching people die. We’ve already figured that one out.”

    “Kay Rist Anderson ? Roaring River, North Carolina
    Millions of Americans again will be shut out of the health care market. Thank You Republicans”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..09440.html

    1. How did this get here? Sqrlz!

  7. On Monday, Obama signed such an order, prohibiting workplace discrimination by federal government agencies and anybody contracting with the government.

    The lawyers seem happy, with all that hand-wringing… That must be a good sign, isn’t it?

  8. The change for federal contracting will impact some 24,000 companies with 28 million workers, or one-fifth of the U.S. workforce.

    Of course not all these workers are contractors. What this says is that many companies have at least one or two government contracts, even if most of their business is not government. (Plenty of companies are pure contractors.) Think, for instance, of all the ISPs or telecom companies that have occasional government-cleared employees or contractors (so that the Feds can spy.) So it’s likely not the case that one-fifth of people are government contractors.

    However, if the rule affects policies for all employees at any company with at least one contract, then they’re still covered by the policy.

  9. But remember – the gay rights movement isn’t about creating a special protected class with privileges not available to the grimy proles! Not at all! Nope, its about “marriage equality”, not putting the federal jackboot into anyone whose celebration of the awesomeness of gaiety doesn’t meet the approval of Our Masters.

    John, this applies to the entire workforce of any company with a federal contract. Those contracts are written to apply non-discrimination provisions across the board, not just to employees working on the federal contract.

    1. They added “sexual orientation” to the existing order. I guess that makes heteros a “protected class” in your world, too.

    2. And that’s different from putting the federal jackboot on anybody whose celebration of the awesomeness of Christianity doesn’t meet the approval of Our Masters? Why should religion remain a privileged and federally protected class?

  10. In principle it sounds reasonable enough. But how does a company prove it isn’t discriminating? Quotas, that’s how. Effectively it might as well be called the Gay Full Employment Act.

  11. Yeah I heard he’s coming out after the fund raiser.

  12. Of course people have a right to contract with the government: those are public funds, not Obama’s personal spending money. Government spending should be reduced greatly, but whatever there is needs to be spent based solely on objectively relevant criteria. Bill Gates isn’t accountable to the public at large for how he spends his money, our government should be.

    As for general nondiscrimination laws, ENDA is a bad law, but then for that matter are religious nondiscrimination laws, and I don’t see people calling for abolishing those. If a Catholic shouldn’t be forced to hire a homosexual, then a Huguenot shouldn’t be forced to hire a Catholic.

  13. Scott, unless you also explicitly call for repeal of all non-discrimination laws, then you are wrong.

    You cannot object to a ban on anti-Gay discrimination if you have a carve out for racist discrimination because “race is different”.

  14. “It’s not unreasonable for the president to define the terms in which others may do business with the government, just as a CEO”. What??! This is “Reason”??

    Since when is a territorial monopoly of force “just as a CEO”?

    Obama controls more wealth and resources and budget than any private enterprise could EVER hope for, because they STEAL at the point of a GUN that they USE if you DARE defy them.

    Since when is denying the freedom of assembling with whom I please a right that “Reason” (?) now considers alienable?

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