Obama ‘not prepared’ to endorse LGBT equality law yet
President Obama will not step in to throw his weight behind an LGBT equality bill that is being championed by the Democrats.
Amid building momentum following the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, over 100 Democrats have co-sponsored a new bill known as the Equality Act – which would outlaw discrimination and ensure a range of protections for LGBT people.
Despite the bill’s numerous endorsements – including from large corporations including Apple – Democratic President Barack Obama has said he will not be backing it yet.
The Republicans currently control both Houses of Congress, and the bill is yet to pick up a single Republican sponsor.
According to the Washington Blade, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked if Obama would back the law.
Earnest said: “I’m not prepared to say that yet. This is a piece of legislation that the White House does continue to review.
“There’s significant consequences to this bill going into effect.
“It has an impact on housing law and a variety of other policies in the federal government, so it’s something that’s still being carefully reviewed by the administration.”
However, he added: “The president believes the passage of comprehensive legislation that protects LGBT Americans from discrimination would mark an important step toward that outcome.
“So, we would applaud the efforts of members of Congress to try to advance that goal, but when it comes to this specific piece of legislation, it’s something that is still under review by the administration.”
He was subsequently questioned about the comments from Vice President Joe Biden – often seen to be ahead of Obama on LGBT rights – who spoke openly in favour of the Act recently.
Mr Earnest said: “I think the vice president was certainly expressing a set of values and views that are consistent with the policies of the administration, but as it relates to the administration’s review of this particular piece of legislation, that’s still ongoing.”