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White House Easter egg roll opportunity for executive order push

One family is headed for the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll with plans for some celebrating but also some campaigning – for an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.

Jarrod Scarbrough and Les Sewell, partners for 18 years, are taking their 8-year-old daughter to the White House, both to for the egg roll and to ask President Barack Obama to help protect their family from workplace discrimination.

Scarbrough and Sewell planned to hold a press conference early April 9, before they entered the White House grounds for the egg roll.

The two men want Obama to sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination by any federal contractor on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Recent reports indicate that this executive order has been approved by both the U.S. Justice and Labor departments and is awaiting the president’s signature.

On April 2, 72 House Democrats signed a letter calling on the president to sign the order.

Scarbrough said, “I work for a federal contractor, and there’s a piece of paper sitting on President Obama’s desk that would give me a little more security for my family. As so many families gather on the White House lawn next week, I hope that the first family takes a moment to reflect on how hard gay families like mine work to ensure that we have the stability and security that so many others take for granted.

“My message – and the message of my family – echoes President Obama’s campaign slogan: We can’t wait. It’s time for President Obama to sign this executive order.”

Under a standing executive order from the Johnson administration, government contractors are barred from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. But the order does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity. Soon after the election of Obama in November 2008, the Human Rights Campaign proposed an extension to protect LGBT workers.

A recent poll found a majority of Americans support an order.

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