November 5, 2013
With the support of every member of the Democratic caucus and some Republicans, the Senate on Monday voted to move forward with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill is now all but sure to pass in the Senate, where a handful of Republicans voted Monday to proceed with the bill -- including one stalwart conservative, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. Still, its fate in the Republican-led House is unclear. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday that the speaker opposes the legislation.
The bill's supporters on Monday sounded optimistic that after a decades-long struggle, ENDA's time had come. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called the bill's consideration "a huge step forward, one too long in coming."
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