[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[August 6, 1998]
[Page 1404]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on House Action on the Executive Order on Prohibiting 
Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation in the Federal Civilian Work 
August 6, 1998

    I am gratified that the House has defeated an attempt to overturn my 
Executive order providing a uniform policy to prohibit discrimination 
based on sexual orientation in the Federal civilian work force.
    This vote reflected the values of our Nation. The American people 
believe in fairness, not discrimination, and the Hefley amendment would 
have legitimized Government-sponsored discrimination against its own 
citizens based on their sexual orientation.
    It has always been the practice of this administration to prohibit 
employment discrimination in the Federal civilian work force based on 
sexual orientation. Most Federal agencies and departments have taken 
actions to memorialize that policy. The Executive order does no more 
than make that policy uniform across the Federal Government. It does not 
authorize affirmative action or preferences or special rights for 
    The Executive order reflects this administration's firm commitment 
that the Federal Government make employment-related decisions in the 
civilian work force based on individual ability and not on sexual 

Note: Executive Order 13087 of May 28 on equal employment opportunity in 
the Federal Government was published in the Federal Register at 63 FR