WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office confirmed in late October that the Nevada Democrat will announce that he is bringing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the full Senate for consideration before its scheduled Thanksgiving recess.
ENDA, passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with bipartisan support earlier this year, would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment.
A spokesperson for Reid told LGBTQ Nation that the exact scheduling of a floor vote has yet to be determined.
“It is long past time that Congress come together to protect LGBT people from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, said Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to Work, a national LGBT organization dedicated to passing ENDA.
“After months of meeting with Republican Senators and their senior staff, we’re confident we have the 60 votes to defeat any attempted filibuster. We’re keeping the pressure up as the vote approaches,” said Almeida, in a statement to LGBTQ Nation.
“Now is the time for the Senate to act,” he said.
The legislation was first introduced two decades ago in 1994 and had its first vote in 1996, the same year the Defense of Marriage Act was signed by former President Bill Clinton.
This would be the first time ENDA has been voted on in the U.S. Senate in 17 years and the first time a transgender-inclusive ENDA has received a vote.
— LGBTQ Nation
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