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GetEQUAL to Protest Obama Re-election Offices Over Exec Order

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Gay rights advocates say they’re “upping the ante” to get President Obama to reconsider his decision NOT to sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.

The LGBT organization GetEQUAL will protest at Obama reelection campaign headquarters nationwide starting next week. The group’s managing director–Heather Cronk–tells OutQ News that they’re also prepared to travel to Washington, D.C., and stage non-violent civil disobedience. GetEQUAL activists used a similar approach in 2010 when they chained themselves to the White House fence to rally behind ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal.

Cronk says the Obama administration mishandled the situation by giving what she described as a “silly response.” White House officials say the president is committed to raising support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in what some note is a sharply-divided Congress.

CRONK: It’s decisions like this, honestly, that give people pause, and not necessarily turn them on to Mitt Romney, but suppress donations, suppress volunteer hours and suppress enthusiasm. So if this is a political calculation that the campaign or the White House is making, it’s really, really bad political math.

Cronk says GetEQUAL is working with a number of donors like philanthropist Jonathan Lewis to fund their efforts, adding that 500 volunteers have already signed up to participate in the group’s direct actions.

The Washington Post reports that Lewis—the son of a billionaire Democratic benefactor—is also working with the advocacy group Freedom to Work. He’s pledged $100,000 to fund the ‘We Can’t Wait’ campaign, which will fly victims of discrimination at federal contractors to confront Obama on the issue.

Advocates say an LGBT-inclusive executive order would protect an additional 16 MILLION workers.

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