Washington, D.C.—The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, has released the following statement in response to President Obama’s intention to sign an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees of federal contractors.
“I join countless Americans and people of faith across the country who applaud President Obama’s plan to sign an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors. Not only is this long overdue and smart for business, it is morally right. It is also not enough,” said Dean Hall.
“Congress’ failure to enact broader non-discrimination protection for LGBT citizens puts families at risk, particularly in the 32 states where sexual orientation and gender identity are not part of state-level non-discrimination laws.
“I also take issue with calls from some faith leaders for the inclusion of a religious exemption in the executive order or in federal legislation. They falsely claim that federal workplace non-discrimination legislation would threaten religious freedom. As a Christian, it is deplorable to me to suggest that someone should have the right to discriminate against you for simply who you are or whom you love.
“Some may view this as a minor detail that should not take legislative priority. Yet despite tremendous progress toward the nationwide movement for LGBT equality in the past year, I see the practice of legal workplace discrimination serving as a continued negative message to our youth that somehow being different is wrong. President Obama’s action will take a step toward bettering that. But the lack of a federal law prohibiting workplace discrimination against LGBT people will continue to constitute as a stumbling block in our nation’s continued path toward greater equality—until Congress does its part.”