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Senate to Take Up Federal Ban on Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in Workplace Senate to Take Up Federal Ban on Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in ...

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Congress

Senate to Take Up Federal Ban on Sexual-Orientation Discrimination in Workplace

Almost all Senate Democrats have backed ENDA, except for three who have not cosponsored the bill: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia (shown here), Bill Nelson of Florida, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

photo of Elahe Izadi
October 28, 2013

A bill that would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity will see action on the Senate floor this work session--as early as next week, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has already passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee by a vote of 15-7; backers included three Republicans: Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Orrin Hatch of Utah. An additional Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, is a cosponsor of the bill.

Almost all Senate Democrats have backed ENDA, except for three who have not cosponsored the bill: Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

 

While no hard whip count has been done to see if it can garner a filibuster-proof majority, Senate leadership feels that the politics of the issue have shifted enough that they are confident it has enough support to at least open up a debate on the bill, according to the aide

It may all be a matter of timing: The Senate is first poised to take up a House bill on pharmaceutical compounding before it gets to ENDA.

Of course, ENDA is still a ways from becoming law. It would have to get through the Republican-controlled House, which is highly unlikely particularly given the low support the bill has from Senate Republicans.

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