THE BLOG
05/14/2013 04:30 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Patience on ENDA Until the Supreme Court Rules

There are leaders within the LGBT community who are extremely frustrated that President Obama has not issued an executive order eliminating discrimination in employment for our community. Those leaders are extremely shortsighted and do not fully understand the strategy of the Obama administration.

First, an executive order can be overturned immediately by the next president who disagrees with the order. President Obama is smarter than that. What Obama wants is the Congress of the United States to recognize that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people deserve the same treatment as everyone else in America.

The LGBT community wants equality in the workplace. Yesterday. Unfortunately, in the current political environment, if President Obama issued an executive order to ensure employment non-discrimination for LGBT people, what is likely to happen is retaliation from the republican House of Representatives and potentially a republican Senate, or worse an executive order by a republican president in 2016 that codifies LGBT employment discrimination.

Executive orders are temporary fixes. President Obama is about permanent solutions; solutions that cannot be easily overturned by the stroke of a pen. That is what the LGBT community should be working toward. In this case, haste indeed does make waste.

President Obama is thoughtful and methodical, we all know that. The same LGBT voices, who cry out for an executive order ending LGBT discrimination in employment, are many who said that Obama would not repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or pass hospital visitation rights. Those voices were wrong then and they are wrong now.

President Obama understands that it is prudent to wait for the Supreme Court decisions concerning same sex marriage in California and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It is crystal clear that the court will rule that marriage is a state's rights issue. Thereby, Californians should be able to enter into same sex marriages by July based upon the lower court ruling.

Once the Supreme Court rules that same sex marriage is a state's tights issue, then they will overturn DOMA and effectively give all the federal rights granted to heterosexual couples to same sex couples. It is a win-win-win.

When gays and lesbians get marriage in California from the Supreme Court, the LGBT community will be happy, the right wing will be happy because the ruling will not create same sex marriage nationally, and the Supreme Court will be happy because it will be on the right side of history.

An executive order will only complicate the marriage issue, as well as the potential passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which will protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination. Why can't our community give President Obama a break? Obama has proven that his LGBT equality agenda is working and his detractors have proven time and time again that their strategies or suggestions are not fully developed.

The president supports same sex marriage which has dramatically changed the view of the electorate in the United States. Obama has judiciously used executive orders to ensure he does not step on the toes of Congress. The time to ask for an executive order is in late June or early July after the Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. Not now. Obama knows better, and to be frank, I trust his political judgment more than many of the leaders in the LGBT community.

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