- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

President Obama told a New York City crowd of LGBT supporters that even though he’s taking executive action to ensure federal contractors can’t fire anyone for their sexual orientation, gay-rights activists still need to press Congress for similar protections.

Mr. Obama complained about a “pattern these days” in which “everyone has given up” on Congress to act, and instead turn to him to pass executive orders, The Hill reported. And in the arena of LGBT rights, that pattern shouldn’t be relied upon, he said.

Executive orders can only go so far because they don’t “reach everybody that needs to be reached. Congress needs to start working again … let’s make sure we keep the pressure up there,” he said, The Hill reported.

He made the comments while discussing his new order announced Monday that bans federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. Prior to issuing the order, Mr. Obama waited for months for Congress to act on the issue, his aides said.

“Shockingly enough, the House refused to act,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday at the LGBT event hosted by the Democratic National Committee.

House Speaker John Boehner has said several times in the past that the House didn’t take up a Senate-passed bill on the anti-discrimination measure because it would open doors to frivolous lawsuits.

But Mr. Obama characterized that argument as “not right,” The Hill reported.

“In the United States,” he said, “who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense.”