Posted by Chris Geidner
April 17, 2012
Questions over why President Obama chose last week not to pursue an executive order to ban federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity continued to be posed in the White House briefing room today, with White House press secretary Jay Carney today pulling back comments made by White House spokesman Shin Inouye less than 24 hours earlier that “the Administration hasn’t taken any options off the table.”
Today, Carney said, “Our position hasn’t changed since we started talking about this last week. At this time, we believe that the right approach is to build support for passage of [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] legislation. And I think an example of why this approach can be most effective is the way that we approached the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ So, there is no change.”
Although Carney has pointed repeatedly to DADT repeal as the path for workplace protections, the White House has not responded to any of the multiple distinctions between the two goals of LGBT equality supporters.
Asked if today’s answer contradicted Inouye’s comment, Carney said, “What I just heard you say does not represent anything different from what I’ve said in the past, which is that at this time we are not pursuing an executive order. I’m not going to speculate about executive orders that may or may not be pursued in the future. What I’m saying is: Right now, we’re not.”
Today’s questioning marks the second time Carney has been asked about the executive order in the briefing in the six days since the White House decision not to issue such an executive order at this time.