We had hundreds of people calling their representatives yesterday to ask if they would sign the letter to President Obama, telling him to issue an executive order preventing federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBT activists lobbying on the Hill report that the DNC is actively discouraging the letter in order to shield the President from the pressure within his own party.

Lyndon Johnson signed such an executive order in in 1965 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”

Call your member of Congress today and ask them to sign the letter to President Obama, telling him to issue an executive order to end LGBT discrimination in the federal workplace.

Several calls to long-time ENDA supporters are listed below, along with the LGBT issue-related donations each has received (per Maplight).  And Patrick C. reports that Ed Towns is “looking to get added” to the letter.

Seventy-two members have already signed the letter. Is your member of Congress listed?

The controversy over Obama’s refusal to sign an executive order on ENDA continues to brew:

  • AP’s David Crary reports today that White House aides say “Barack Obama has done more for the cause of gay rights than any president before him,” and think Congress should do the heavy lifting on ENDA.  “Many gay activists don’t buy that explanation, given that the act has no chance in the current Congress” writes Crary.  “They wonder why issuing the executive order doesn’t fit with Obama’s recently adopted ‘We can’t wait’ strategy of taking actions that don’t need congressional approval.”
  • Twenty-three faith groups including the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the National Council of Churches, the Union for Reform Judaism and Muslims for Progressive Values sent a letter to President Obama yesterday saying “we strongly urge you to reconsider issuing an executive order prohibiting discrimination by U.S. government contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
  • Matt Baume of LBGTQNation asks “After decades of pressure, ENDA continues to languish — What gives?
  • If you haven’t seen White House spokesperson Jay Carney being grilled on ENDA Bil Browning has the video & recap at Bilerico.
  • For those who think such protections already exist (they don’t), the Advocate writes about “why we still need a fully inclusive ENDA.”
  • Greg Sargent reports that GetEqual will soon start staging actions against Obama For America offices throughout the country.  Managing director Heather Cronk says they will “certainly be doing potentially arrestable actions at the White House.”
  • Both the New York Times and Washington Post have published editorials blasting Obama for refusing to sign the Executive Order.

I can’t think of any good reason why the following representatives are equivocating on signing on to the Pallone letter. Many thanks to all the folks who called. If you haven’t yet, click here to ask your representative to sign the letter urging President Obama to issue an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination:

Caller Representative Report Notes
Colby T. CA-06 – Lynn Woolsey Agreed to pass my message along. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $23,175 in LGBT issue donations
Anon CA-12 – Jackie Speier They said great and asked for my name and zip. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $4025 from HRC
Jim E. CO-07 – Ed Perlmutter Has not yet decided ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, Received $28,808 in donations from LGBT issue donations (including $7600 from Tim Gill)
Patricia L. FL-20 – Debbie Wasserman Schultz Thank you for calling. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $24,550 in LGBT issue donations
Lynne Y. HI-02 – Mazie Hirono Recorded out-going message ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $5,500 in LGBT issue donations
Adam M. IA-03 – Leonard Boswell I talked to a staffer – she said she would ask/find out and someone would get back to me. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $48,045 in LGBT issue donations
Norman B. MA-01 – John Olver It was a recording. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $15,250 in LGBT issue donations
Anon MA-07 – Ed Markey No response ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $17,850 in LGBT issue donations
Michele T. NY-07 – Joe Crowley They did not know his stance but believe he would likely support the issue. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $28,325 in LGBT issue donations
Patrick S. NY-10 – Ed Towns Staff member said he had heard of the letter and was looking to get added “thank you for your support”. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $11,500 in LGBT issue donations
Lester and Judy H. OR-04 – Peter DeFazio Aide didn’t know where DeFazio stands on Pallone’s letter but said she would pass along my comments. ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $15,650 in LGBT issue donations
Micki J. WA-01 – Rick Larsen Nick in Rick’s office said — He does not know if Rick has seen the letter but promised to ask him and get back to me via email. 

I asked how long that would take and he said, “It SHOULDN’T take more than a couple of weeks!”  Oy.

ENDA co-sponsor, member of the Equality Caucus, received $36,550 in LGBT issue donations