Obama’s LGBT Hiring Executive Order Will Not Include Religious Exemption


President Barack Obama plans to sign on Monday a long-awaited executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people by federal contractors, and it will not include the broad religious exemption sought by religious leaders.

The Huffington Post reported on Friday that Obama’s order will add sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing non-discrimination order that covers race, sex and religion. A White House official confirmed the report to TPM. It will not include any general religious exemption for religious employers.

The order does, however, maintain an executive order by President George W. Bush that allows religious employers to prioritize hiring members of their religion, according to the official.

Obama pledged to issue the order earlier this year after the House failed to take up the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit hiring discrimination against LGBT people more broadly.

Following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, several religious leaders, including a member of Obama’s 2012 campaign, wrote to the president asking that he include a broad religious exemption in his forthcoming order.

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