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Second term may bring progress on GLBT rights in the workplace

Last year, many GLBT activists were understandably frustrated when the executive branch failed to institute a sexual orientation discrimination ban in federally contracted workplaces. However, many individuals seeking greater enforcement of GLBT rights are hopeful that such action will be taken in President Obama's second term in office.

In particular, advocates are encouraging the President to sign an executive order banning such discrimination. However, it is possible that Congressional action or agency action on the issue may be pursued as well.

Civil liberties advocates were especially heartened when President Obama singled out the GLBT rights cause in his inaugural address last month. He stated that "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

This sentiment was voiced at a time that seems ripe for change. The Supreme Court will hear arguments this year in cases related to same-sex marriage and many state legislatures are similarly insisting on wider enforcement of gay rights in the workplace and in the world at large.

The White House expressed in January that it was not ready at the time to sign an executive order on the issue. It is unclear whether or not the administration is still waiting for Congress to act more broadly and definitively or if the timing is just not what the administration wants it to be yet. However, many advocates are hopeful that the issue will be resolved soon and they have solid reasons to believe so.

Source: ABC News 7, "LGBT advocates seek ban on employment discrimination," Jan. 24, 2013

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