In a move that indicates he's grown impatient with Congress, President Obama has asked his staff to draft an executive order that would ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors. This could affect up to 16 million U.S. workers.
A White House official told the Huffington Post that there is no timeline yet for signing the order, leaving a window open for lawmakers to do something themselves first. "The president's intentions are clear," the official said.
If Obama does sign the order, it will be a long time coming — he first promised to sign something like it back in 2008. Since then, Congress has failed to push forward any kind of LGBT non-discrimination legislation. The Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last November knowing that Speaker of the House John Boehner would never bring it to the floor.
Vice President Joe Biden hinted that an order like this might be coming. He got out in front of the president again on gay issues when he told The Huffington Post last month that he didn't "see any downside" to Obama using his executive authority to ban workplace discrimination against the employees of federal contractors.