The Social Security Administration has halted its attempts to strike protections based on sexual orientation from their contract with union workers. The change would have made it legal for gay and lesbian employees in the Bush administration to be discriminated against, or even fired, by their employers. The contract language at issue was added in 2000 in response to an executive order by President Clinton establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The head of the SSA abruptly halted the Administration's proposed discrimination within one day of Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe's public statement condemning the move. "This is a victory for the Democratic Party, but more important, a victory for gay and lesbian Americans against discrimination," McAuliffe said Friday. "George Bush has consistently tried to take away hard-won rights and move our country in the wrong direction."