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News Summary: Gay rights groups target work bias

The Associated Press

PUSH FOR ACTION: Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees. The drive comes after Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in his inaugural address.

NOT YET READY: Current federal law bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, but it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker based on sexual orientation. The White House said the Obama administration is not ready "at this time" to issue such an order.

MARRIAGE CASES: Gay rights groups are also hoping the administration files briefs to argue that gay marriage is protected by the Constitution in two cases the U.S. Supreme Court will hear later this that could further expand gay marriage rights. Obama has so far insisted gay marriage is a state issue.