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Log Cabin Calls On Scott Bloch, Office of Special Counsel, to Resign

Bloch Defies President Bush, Refuses to Enforce Executive Order Banning Discrimination

May 25, 2005 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – "Scott Bloch has made it clear that he is not enforcing the law and is openly defying the President, accordingly he should resign immediately," said Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron.

Yesterday, in testimony before the United States Senate, Bloch said that he did not believe current law protects federal employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Mr. Bloch's assertion flies in the face of 30 years of precedent and openly defies an executive order supported by President Bush.

"Long standing federal policy prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation," the White House said in a statement last year. "President Bush expects federal agencies to enforce this policy and to ensure that all federal employees are protected from unfair discrimination at work."

Bloch's actions mark a clear breach of a specific promise made to the Log Cabin Republicans by the Bush campaign during the 2000 election. "As part of Log Cabin's decision to endorse President Bush in 2000, the campaign pledged to Log Cabin that non-discrimination policies for federal employees would be respected. Log Cabin would not have endorsed Bush without this promise. We ask the Bush Administration to remain true to their word and put an end to this distraction," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero.

Last year Bloch ordered the removal of any references to sexual orientation discrimination from the Office of Special Counsel's website and printed materials. According to a letter from the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, signed by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), this directly contradicts the pledge he made during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Log Cabin responded to Bloch's action last year by sending him a letter dated March 18, 2004. Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero called on Bloch to stop the rollback of protections for federal employees. "The action by the Special Counsel constitutes a dramatic rollback of basic protections. It's a sad day when we see protections taken away that have been guaranteed since the mid 1970s. We call on Mr. Bloch today to immediately restore protections for gay and lesbian federal employees," wrote Guerriero.

Bloch claims that he is prohibited from enforcing the executive order protecting federal workers. Bloch's claim is baseless and it ignores 30 years of precedent. Since 1974, federal law (5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(10)) has been interpreted to prohibit discrimination against federal employees on the basis of sexual orientation. While containing no specific reference to sexual orientation, the statute has been uniformly interpreted to prohibit discrimination. In fact, current Solicitor General Theodore Olsen, an appointee of President George W. Bush, concluded more than 20 years ago that, "it is improper to deny employment to or to terminate anyone on the basis of sexual preference or conduct that does not adversely affect job performance."

"Rolling back more than 30 years of protections for gay and lesbian employees is unacceptable, and represents a clear repudiation of conservative principles. Men and women seeking to serve the American people through service to the federal government should be judged by their ability, not by their sexual orientation," concluded Guerriero.