On July 21, 2014 President. Obama issued Executive Order 13672, amending EO 11246 which has been around since 1965. The new EO added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of prohibited bases of employment discrimination by federal contractors. The order applies to all employees of a contractor, not just those working on a federal contract. It also requires the contractor to hold itself out to the public as an equal opportunity employer with respect to these newly protected classes, and to post in conspicuous places notice to employees and job applicants of its nondiscrimination duties.
Some religious organizations are federal contractors. This has long been the practice with respect to international relief efforts, as well as for services to meet the religious needs of those in prison and serving in the armed forces. Religious organizations petitioned the White House for an exemption from these new requirements. Although they did not succeed, they were able to convince President Obama to leave intact a more limited religious exception permitting religious organizations to staff on a religious basis, an exception drawn from Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- Prof. Carl H. Esbeck, R.B. Price Professor Emeritus and Isabelle Wade & Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law
- Dr. Stanley W. Carlson-Thies, Founder and President, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; Senior Fellow and former Director of Social Policy Studies, Center for Public Justice; former Director, White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives
- Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson, Director, Program in Family Law and Policy, University of Illinois College of Law