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updated: 1/24/2013 7:08 AM

Gay rights groups seek order on employer bias

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  • Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees. The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in the speech. \

      Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees. The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in the speech. \
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in his inaugural address Monday.

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Current federal law bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin but don't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker based on sexual orientation.

Obama frustrated some supporters last year when he declined to issue an executive order that would protect about 16 million workers at companies with government contracts from bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye (ih-NOH'-way) says the Obama administration is not ready at this time to issue such an order.

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