Drumbeat builds for new executive order

LGBT activists put together a long wish list when President Obama came into office in January 2009. On that list was a wish for the president to issue an executive order to require companies with contracts to do work for the federal government to promise they would not discriminate against their employees based on sexual orientation or gender.

The Obama administration has delivered on many things that were part of that original list, but it has not yet come through with the federal contractors’ executive order.

It’s not a particularly risky move for the Obama administration. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has said multiple times on the campaign trail that he is opposed to discrimination against gays. And many of the government’s largest contractors already have non-discrimination policies that include gays.

But some groups are growing concerned that this November’s presidential election could bring a change at the White House and they are starting the drumbeat to prod this one forward.

Metro Weekly, a Washington DC gay newspaper, reported Tuesday that former Human Rights Campaign official Winnie Stachelberg, who was involved in negotiations that led to repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, said there have been “conversations” among White House officials about such an executive order.

But Stachelberg didn’t say whether she’s been part of those conversations and the White House would not confirm anything.

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