Thanks to ChastMastr for pointing out this good albeit surprising news, and for leaving a comment here the other day noting it as well:
Employees are protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, the White House says.
The White House position, made in a March 31 statement to Federal Times, appears to contradict recent statements by President Bush’s appointee to the office that handles such discrimination claims.
[Federal Times, March 31, 2004]
I previously had noted (in February and again last month) that the new director of the Office of Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, had taken the position that the federal government does not protect against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Last week, though, after nearly 80 members of Congress sent letters to Bloch asking him to reverse his decision and received no response, they then wrote directly to President Bush, asking him to clarify the Administration’s position. Via a spokesperson, the White House responded:
Longstanding federal policy prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation. President Bush expects federal agencies to enforce this policy and to ensure that all federal employees are protected from unfair discrimination at work.
The Washington Blade has a longer and much more detailed description and analysis of the issue.