President Barack Obama talked about equality a lot during his State of the Union address Tuesday night: equal pay for women, equal access to health care and he even touched on equal marriage. But it's what he didn't say that has upset some members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
Advocates had hoped that the president would demand Congress pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill received bipartisan support from the Senate in November, but has languished in the House. Obama also failed to mention an executive order that would prevent federal contractors from discriminating on sexual orientation or gender identity.
"The president's message tonight failed to address the needs of LGBT workers looking for a fair shake in this economy," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in a release.
"Unfortunately, President Obama missed a real opportunity to use the State of the Union to improve the lives of LGBT people by taking immediate executive action to address anti-LGBT discrimination for the millions of Americans employed by federal contractors," he added.
Griffin specifically targeted ExxonMobil as an example of a contractor that takes money from taxpayers without providing necessary protections that would make discrimination against LGBT workers. According to the release, 29 states do not have laws to prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation.