Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Monday applauded President Barack Obama’s decision to move forward with an executive order banning federal contractors from engaging in employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
In March, Capps, joined by 147 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 47 members of the U.S. Senate, wrote a letter to President Obama in support of this action.
For several years, Capps has been a leader on this issue and has pushed the president to act. In 2012, she led the first congressional effort on this issue with Rep. Frank Pallone and then-Rep. Barney Frank, and in 2013 she led a subsequent letter to the president with Reps. Pallone and Jared Polis.
“I applaud President Obama for taking this important first step toward an executive order that would protect the rights of millions of federal contract workers,” Capps said. “The president said this would be a year of action. And with workers across the country facing discrimination, we can’t wait another day to make sure workplace discrimination isn’t supported by taxpayer funds. Signing an executive order will be a meaningful advancement for all LGBT Americans."
Capps is also a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and is committed to bringing it up for a vote in the House. ENDA would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation for all Americans.
The Senate passed ENDA with a bipartisan vote last year, and there are currently more than 200 bipartisan co-sponsors — including Capps — in the House.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.