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Trans-inclusive ENDA clears first hurdle in Senate

BY DONNA CASSATA
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The Senate pushed a major anti-bias gay rights bill past a first, big hurdle Monday, a clear sign of Americans' greater acceptance of homosexuality nearly two decades after the law prohibiting federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The vote of 61-30 essentially ensured that the Senate has the votes to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Final passage, possibly by week's end, would cap a 17-year quest to secure Senate support for a similar discrimination measure that failed by one vote in 1996, the same year Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act.

Reflecting the nation's shifting views toward gay rights and the fast-changing political dynamic, seven Senate Republicans joined with 54 Democrats to vote to move ahead on the legislation.

The bipartisan vote increases the chances that the Senate will pass the bill by week's end, but its prospects in the Republican-led House are dimmer.

Speaker John Boehner remains opposed to the bill, arguing that it will lead to frivolous lawsuits and undercut job creation.

A vote would come 17 years after the Senate rejected a similar discrimination measure by one vote.

The Obama administration has said passage of the bill is long overdue.

Click here for updates.

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THE WHITE HOUSE  

Office of the Press Secretary  

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2013

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Senate’s Successful Procedural Vote on the Employment Non‑Discrimination Act of 2013

 

The President welcomes the Senate’s bipartisan first step towards final passage of S. 815, the Employment Non‑Discrimination Act of 2013.  He has long supported an inclusive ENDA, which would establish lasting and comprehensive Federal protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  He thanks the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who have stood up for America’s core values of fairness and equality, and looks forward to the Senate’s consideration of ENDA.  He also encourages lawmakers to ensure that the legislation remains true to its goals as it is considered.

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