An executive order signed by President Obama will bar companies that work for the federal government from discriminating against employees based on thier gender identity or sexual orientation. Although several religious groups such as Catholic hospitals requested that Obama exclude institutions which are faith-based, but Obama would not agree to an exemption. Obama also amended the already existing executive orders which protected LGBT employees from being discriminated against. In essence, Obama's executive order makes LGBT and gender identity a protected class which protects the groups from discriminatory practices in the workplace. The president opted for an executive order since the Congress failed to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ban discrimination against employees who are gay. The Democrat controlled Senate passed the Act, but the republican House did not. LGBT groups were pleased with the order and advocacy groups stated that the president's actions are "historic executive actions to advance LGBT equality."