The new White House Special Counsel moves to strip gay and lesbian federal employees' benefits: Bloch said gays, lesbians and bisexuals cannot be covered as a protected class because they are not protected under the nation’s civil rights laws. “When you’re interpreting a statute, you have to be very careful to interpret strictly according to how it’s written and not get into loose interpretations,” Bloch said. “Someone may have jumped to the conclusion that conduct equals sexual orientation, but they are essentially very different. One is a class . . . and one is behavior.” It is the first time that Bloch has explained his position on the issue of gay workers despite pressure from unions and  Federal Globe an organization that represents LGBT government workers after the OSC began removing references to sexual orientation-based discrimination from its complaint form, the OSC basic brochure, training slides and a two-page flier entitled "Your Rights as a Federal Employee." Bloch's position is a marked departure from how the previous special counsel, Elaine Kaplan, enforced the law. “The legal position that he is taking, that there is some distinction between discrimination based on sexual orientation and discrimination based on conduct, is absurd,” Kaplan told Federal Times.


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