'Mr. Bloch is ignoring the anti-discrimination directive from the White House,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign and Federal GLOBE, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees association of the federal government, asked President Bush today in a joint letter to address the statements of Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who indicated at a Senate hearing late last month that, contrary to the White House's directive, he had no intention of investigating or acting on certain claims of sexual orientation discrimination from federal employees.
"Mr. Bloch is ignoring the anti-discrimination directive from the White House," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "The Bush administration has clearly stated its support for the enforcement of sexual orientation discrimination protections. Now, the White House has to either ask Bloch to change his policy position, or step down."
"We no longer believe that gay federal employees can trust Mr. Bloch to fairly and impartially enforce the longstanding interpretation of personnel law that would protect against discriminatory actions based on sexual orientation," said FedGLOBE President Len Hirsch. "He persists in confusing civil rights law and the concept of 'protected classes' with the civil service law - a law that has been interpreted under both Democratic and Republican administrations to provide protections to federal employees against personnel actions based on sexual orientation - most critically hiring and firing."
Bloch has provided no formal legal analysis or adequate interpretation for his stance, despite repeated requests from several members of Congress and others who have cited the Civil Service Act of 1978, which has been interpreted for nearly three decades to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace for federal employees.
In April 2004, the White House released the following statement: "Longstanding federal policy prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation. ﾃ President Bush expects federal agencies to enforce this policy and to ensure that all federal employees are protected from unfair discrimination at work."
"Again and again, Mr. Bloch has ignored requests to explain himself or reverse his position," said Solmonese. "His actions have rolled back civil rights of all Americans."
Download HRC and FedGLOBE's letter to President Bush. [PDF]
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