White House press spokesman Jay Carney has claimed it would be ‘redundant’ for Barack Obama to issue an executive order to ban workplace discrimination.

Obama faces calls from to issue an order banning discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity among federal contractors, as the broader Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is being blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives, with the House speaker saying he will not call a vote on it.

Carney said: “I think if the law passed — and I’m not a lawyer — and I haven’t read every sentence of the law, but I think if a law passed that broadly banned this kind of employment discrimination, it would make redundant an executive order.

Dismissing calls for an order, he said ENDA was “a broad solution to the problem, and it ought to be passed by Congress.”

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign told the Washington Blade: “We couldn’t disagree more. Even if ENDA passed tomorrow, we’d still want the [Executive Order].

“His assertion is completely out of step with over 60 years of social change strategy related to enduring legal protections for race and gender and more recently for hate crimes and non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“What he’s asserting is the equivalent of saying that if ENDA passed tomorrow, we wouldn’t need non-discrimination laws in the majority of states that still don’t have them. That’s absolutely not the case.”

ENDA passed through the Democrat-controlled Senate in November, but is unlikely to make progress in the House of Representatives.