White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday downplayed criticisms from pro-gay rights groups over President Obama's failure to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
“I think his position on LGBT rights is crystal clear,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to an event with the president in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Carney was asked about the issue a day after Obama's State of the Union address, in which the president unveiled a host of executive actions and vowed that he would use his powers to bypass Congress and move his agenda if lawmakers failed to act.
Gay rights groups, though, criticized the president for not signing an order banning discrimination by contractors against gay, lesbian or transgendered workers.
The president also didn’t raise the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar workplace bias due to sexual orientation, in his Tuesday night address to Congress.
The White House has instead pressed the House to pass the legislation after it was approved by the Senate in 2013. But the bill is unlikely to pass in the GOP-controlled lower chamber.