The White House says President Barack Obama does not plan to issue a ban on discrimination against gay federal contractors sought by gay rights groups. The decision disappoints a constituency that has been an important source of support for him.
White House press secretary Jay Carney says Obama is committed to gay rights and would support legislation that would protect gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors.
But he ruled out a special presidential order that would accomplish the same thing now. Gay rights groups say that Congress won't act to pass such a law and that the White House should step in with an executive order.
Carney denies the White House is trying to avoid a politically sensitive issue in this election year.