President Obama should not unilaterally disregard our successful effort to achieve a bipartisan consensus that both promotes nondiscrimination and protects fundamental religious liberties.” But Democrats had been pushing Obama repeatedly to take the action in recent years — even as the White House repeatedly rebuffed questions by saying they were focused on passing ENDA instead. ENDA, however, hasn't gotten a vote in the GOP-controlled House. 121, and in order to provide for a uniform policy for the Federal Government to prohibit discrimination and take further steps to promote economy and efficiency in Federal Government procurement by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. The first sentence of section 1 of Executive Order 11478 of August 8, 1969, as amended, is revised by substituting "sexual orientation, gender identity" for "sexual orientation".(b) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The order has angered Republicans on Capitol Hill for not including a new religious exemption, and the executive order comes after the Supreme Court ruled Obama's contraception mandate via the Affordable Care Act violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the lead Republican sponsor of that law and a supporter of the Senate-passed ENDA bill, said in a statement Friday that the Obama administration has a "consistent disregard for religious liberty." "In seeking to curtail unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, we must ensure that legal protections do not trample upon basic religious liberties," Hatch said.
"That’s why I worked with Republicans and Democrats to include a religious exemption and non-retaliation provision in the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Senate. This order shall become effective immediately, and section 2 of this order shall apply to contracts entered into on or after the effective date of the rules promulgated by the Department of Labor under section 3 of this order.
"If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might very well consider [retiring]," Hatch told National Journal.
"Mitt Romney would be perfect." The Atlantic reported in April that Romney has been discussing a Senate bid with Republicans in Utah and Washington.
"I think it's a portend of the future that sooner or later, gay marriage is probably going to be approved by the Supreme Court of the United States," Hatch said.