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Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) makes progress in the Senate

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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