I welcome the announced executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. Those who contract with the government (and are paid with taxpayers’ dollars) agree to abide by its rules, or they shouldn’t take the work. This is different from private companies in general, including individual proprietorships, who should have an expectation of greater freedom in how they choose to conduct their business—including the hiring, promotion, firing, and payment of their employees and the jobs they chose to accept or reject (rights greatly curtailed by the regulatory state, and which progressives would virtually eliminate*). As government expands and its prohibitions and dictates mount, liberty within civil society recedes.
It’s also worth noting that after news of an upcoming executive order was announced, as MSNBC notes, “Obama effectively painted a bull’s eye, inviting Republican apoplexy. And yet, crickets.”
The order’s timing was intended to galvanize the base before November’s congressional elections by inciting reaction from GOP office seekers. But the times are changing.
*Pay equity theorists on the left, for instance, advocate legislation to limit allowable private-sector pay determination to nonsubjective factors such as education levels, job descriptions and years of service (restrictions that currently apply when determining compensation for public school teachers and often for other unionized government employees), since taking into consideration job performance as a pay factor is always, in their view, subject to bias. (Some of this thinking has made its way into the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act.)