A study released by a coalition of equal rights groups shows that $250 billion to $300 billion a year in federal contracts goes to businesses in states that do not protect LGBT workers from discrimination.
The coalition, in addition to releasing the study, promoted a petition calling on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The group – which includes the Center for American Progress, Freedom to Work, the Human Rights Campaign, the Movement Advancement Project, and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates – said without such an order, the federal government is subsidizing discrimination with taxpayer money.
Specifically, the study found that in 2012, $249 billion in federal contract money went to businesses in states that do not ban employment bias based on sexual orientation. About $293 billion last year went to states that do not ban employment bias based on gender identity.
“With no federal employment protections, too many LGBT workers are at risk of losing their jobs and their livelihoods,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “The permanent solution is to pass an inclusive ENDA. In the meantime, we hope President Obama will issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT Americans.”
“Should President Obama take action, we would likely reach a tipping point in terms of nondiscrimination coverage for the LGBT workforce. With broad support from the public, even from a majority of Republicans, workplace nondiscrimination should be a no-brainer,” said Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress.
Tico Almeida of the Freedom to Work said more than 175,000 people have signed a petition seeking an executive order. He encouraged additional signatures on the petition.