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Monday, June 16, 2014

Obama to sign LGBT order

Obama has asked for a document to be drawn up for his signature that would forbid federal contractors from discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation. See the article here. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/16/obama-to-sign-order-extending-lgbt-protections/  
Fine!  I agree with the sentiment and I have no problem with that ….except:
1.       I have been in the workforce since 1968.  I have been union, non-union, hourly, salaried non exempt, salaried exempt, supervisor, manager, personnel manager, CIO, CFO, and owner.  In all those years and positions:
a.       I have never seen or been aware of a single instance of discrimination based on sexual preference.
b.      I have never been asked my sexual orientation.
c.       I have never seen an instance where someone else was asked their sexual orientation.
d.      I have never been aware of a colleague having made any personnel decisions based on sexual orientation or a perceived sexual orientation.
e.      As personnel manager (for a group of 60 employees for 4 years) I never had a single instance where an employee claimed discrimination based on sexual orientation.  (And believe me I have heard every other type of discrimination claim imaginable).
2.       Is signing an executive order on protecting the LGBT community from something that possibly exists only on the most extreme margins really a Presidential priority over:
a.       Iraq?
b.      Veteran’s care at VA hospitals?
c.       Syria?
d.      Ukraine?
e.      The weakest economic recovery from a recession in US history?


  1. Is the implication that our president can´t multitask? In any case, I doubt an hour goes by when lots of important people in the administration aren´t working on each and every issue you listed.

    Besides, perhaps you haven´t personally witnessed or experience discrimination, but many do. I´ve never witnessed or experienced violence in Iraq or Syria but they are problems to be dealt with.

  2. Having voted for the guy twice I am sad to say: "No. I don't think he can multitask. Or even single task very well.

  3. Dan, yes the implication is that the President is not focused on the important issue. I will go further and say I think the LGBT thing is a political canard.

    Open question - has anyone on this blog witnessed or experienced workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation?

  4. p.s. multitasking is a euphemism for a continual state of partial attention.

  5. No doubt there is some political calculus involved in the executive order.

    And I´m with you on the multitasking definition. Taking the president to task for multitasking, though, seems like a tough pull to me. Maybe we should have a President of National Defense and a President of Economic Policy and a President of Social Policy and President of....

    On the discrimination question...I´ve never witnessed workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation - quite possibly no one on this blog has. Still, not having experienced it doesn´t change my view on whether or not we should put something in writing that says "don´t do it."

  6. Dan, in reality we do have a President of National Defense and President of ….. We call them Secretaries.

    I am not denying that discrimination based on sexual orientation does occur. I am not opposed to putting it in writing. Still, since we (the YA community) are having difficulty recalling a case much less a broad base of cases I question why this is on the top of Obama’s list of thing to address.

    On Friday Obama said he was considering options for action in Iraq. Obama and family spent the weekend in Palm Springs. We are still waiting for options in Iraq. I hear nothing about what the posture of the US will be in Ukraine. Thousands of (refuge?) children are crossing the border from Mexico (approximately 50K so far) and I have heard nothing from the President. The VA issue could be solved in days if the proposal to give vets vouchers were adopted. I hear no support from the President for this solution or an alternate proposal.

    And yet the President found time to attend a fund raiser for the LGBT community yesterday (Tuesday) in New York. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/06/17/president-obama-coming-to-new-york-for-3-fundraisers/

    The president has resources to address multiple problems (tasks). Part of a leader’s job is to properly prioritize issues and delegate resources as appropriate. The LGBT executive order was not an issue that jumped up and slapped the President in the face. It is an issue he sought out.

    I question the President’s priorities.

  7. Tom, I agree with you that we have Secretaries, that the President is MIA on some important issues, and that he chose to prioritize the LGBT issue more highly than many would like.