January 17, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Carney mum on contractors allowing anti-gay harassment

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t have an immediate answer on Tuesday when asked whether the White House has a problem with federal money going to companies that engage in anti-gay discrimination.

“Why don’t I take that question because I know none of the details that you just described,” Carney said. “I don’t want to make a general statement about it since I know nothing about the specifics. But I’ll take the question.”

MORE IN THE BLADE: DYNCORP URGED TO ADOPT NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

The Washington Blade has asked Carney to respond to a $155,000 settlement the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached this month with the military contractor DynCorp International LLC, a military contractor and aircraft maintenance company in Fairfax, Va.

A straight employee at the company, James Friso, was allegedly harassed in 2006 based on his perceived sexual orientation, and when he complained the company did nothing. Friso was awarded $155,000 in a settlement, but the contractor isn’t required to change its non-discrimination policy to include protections based on sexual orientation.

According to Freedom to Work, Dyncorp receives more than 96 percent of its revenue from federal contracts that amount to $2 billion each year, making it the 32nd largest federal contractor.

One possible way to require companies like DynCorp to adopt LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies would be for President Obama to issue an executive order prohibiting federal dollars from going to companies that don’t have non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The White House hasn’t said if Obama would be open to issuing this order.

A transcript of the exchange between Carney and the Blade follows:

Washington Blade: Jay, I want to ask you about a settlement that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached early this month with a military contractor called Dyncorp.

A straight employee there was allegedly harassed based on his perceived sexual orientation, and when he complained the company did nothing. He was awarded $155,000, but the company isn’t required to change its non-discrimination policy to include protections based on sexual orientation. 

Dyncorp receives more than 96 percent of its revenue from federal contracts that amount to $2 billion each year, making it the 32nd largest federal contractor.

Does the White House have a problem with companies having policies allowing this kind of anti-gay harassment if they receive this amount of federal money?

Jay Carney:  Chris, why don’t I take that question because I know none of the details that you just described, so I wouldn’t  — I don’t want to make a general statement about it since I know nothing about the specifics. But I’ll take the question.

Blade: But generally speaking —

Carney: Again, I don’t want to do — you just listed a number of details about a case that I don’t have any information on, so why don’t we take that question and I’ll get back to you.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

Comments are closed
© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.
Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin