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At LGBT Pride reception, Obama urges ban on workplace bias against gays

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Updated: 7:30 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday marked Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month by calling on Congress to pass legislation banning workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and others. “I want to sign that bill,” he said.

Obama said such bias is wrong and must end. He said that in more than 30 states people can be fired because of who they are or who they love. He said legislation pending in Congress would end workplace discrimination “now and forever” against lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender individuals.

“We need to get that passed. I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now,” Obama said at a reception in the White House East Room.

Obama was referring to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by employers, employment agencies, labor organizations and others.

Similar bills are pending at the committee level in the House and Senate.

At the reception, Obama recited some of what his administration has done for gays and lesbians, including enacting a hate crimes law, including LGBT victims in the Violence Against Women Act and requiring hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid to treat LGBT patients the same as other patients.

But he said there is more work to do.

“Part of the reason we’re here is because we know we’re not done yet,” said Obama, who last year became the first sitting president to declare his support for gay marriage.

Watch the President’s remarks here:

Gay rights advocates have been pushing for Obama to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from anti-gay discrimination in the workplace.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the administration favors the legislative approach.

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32 more reader comments:

  1. See that proves that Obama is good then again the stupid racist rednecks will use this as another excuse to call him a bad president but I support him all the way

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:07pm
  2. I hope he gets asked some hard questions.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:10pm
  3. I wish I received an invite..or a skype or something. I wanna party with the family, & friends!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:11pm
  4. 1luvx

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:11pm
  5. <3

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:22pm
  6. That’s very Cool <3

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:25pm
  7. Ken Wind

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:28pm
  8. Well, I still think he’s not who I want in office, but the rest of ya’ll goofballs seemed to think different. The Pan in me is SOOO grateful for him, but my inner redneck just wants to throw an empty beer can.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:39pm
  9. well I hate rednecks only cause the ones I know are sucky but im sure there are some good ones out there

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:40pm
  10. and what exactly is pan that stands for pansexual right

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:40pm
  11. Yeah, BOY!!!!!!! That’s MY President :-)

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 2:50pm
  12. Love love love this!!!! <3

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 3:37pm
  13. Wake up, he doesn’t care about gay rights, never did, all this is about is us keeping the pressure off of him

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 3:37pm
  14. so what?

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:32pm
  15. Boehner said this isn’t going to happen– President Obama you need to sign an Executive Order to get things moving….

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:37pm
  16. he just doesn’t want to be “attacked” in an open social setting; he’s better get it together!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:41pm
  17. God bless this good man!!! I wish his fight to help American people not just rich or majority but the people isn’t in vain!!!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:44pm
  18. Awesome!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 4:52pm
  19. For anyone who wishes to immerse themself into a world of liberation, excitement and total inhibition; come to our room on Tinychat and take a load off. Feel free to cam up, socialize and meet all kinds of fun free spirited people. http://tinychat.com/wegotpride18

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:04pm
  20. Now, that’s more like the guy I voted for!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:06pm
  21. While it is wrong for the government to discriminate against anyone, i.e. not allowing gay people the same rights as straight people, private employers have a right to do what they wish.

    I am not in any way defending homophobia, as I am a gay man.

    If an employer can’t get past the very basic issue of homosexuality, they deserve to lose the talent.

    If an employer can’t accept gay people, they probably can’t accept other human behavior either.

    That’s the biggest problem with GLBT people as a group, instead of teaching each other to be strong, we teach each other that we’re weak and need preferential treatment from society.

    We have to learn to deal with ignorant people and bullies. It’s a part of life no matter who you are.

    Silencing an opinion because we don’t like it is just as bad if not more so than homophobia.

    Most of these hate-filled people are just ignorant.

    Perhaps if we talked to them calmly and rationally some of them might be willing to listen.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:00pm
  22. These people are thick-sculled fanatics who don’t understand the concept of equal rights; they need to STFU!

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:13pm
  23. I agree, they are thick-skulled fanatics who do not understand the concept of equal rights.

    I do think that silencing them isn’t within our rights.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:15pm
  24. And right to work states need to remove such laws; employers need to be held accountable for their actions.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:15pm
  25. These ignorant religious fanatics need to keep their discriminatory hatred on their pulpits and off the streets.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:18pm
  26. What about employees? Employees don’t have to be accountable for their own choices?

    I do agree that there are some employers who mistreat their employees, but employment is voluntary.

    People have the ability to makes choices and do something about their situation.

    That’s the biggest problem I have with Liberals- it’s the sanctioning of victimhood and teaching people they are too weak to improve their own lives.

    I am not siding with bigots or people who abuse others, but according to the Democratic party, no one is ever responsible for anything.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:20pm
  27. We have to work in this country, most of us; giving employers the right to fire at will for no reason is wrong. Documenting an employees bad behavior and showing good reason for termination is acceptable and responsible behavior.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:30pm
  28. Silencing anyone is wrong. Their views are discriminatory and will be proven wrong via the courts.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:33pm
  29. Thomas, it saddens me to see you take such a lack-luster, hopeless point of view here. As a LGBTQ American, you should be fighting with every fiber of your being for your rights.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:36pm
  30. It sounds like you’ve been watching FOX News. Get a few more years experience in the workforce and see if your opinions change.

    Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:50pm
  31. He said the word! transgender~

    Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 1:12am
  32. Bi pride

    Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 3:58am