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ENDA Up for Senate Vote July 10

by Justin Snow
Friday Jul 5, 2013

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote next week on legislation long stalled Congress that would prohibit anti-LGBT workplace discrimination, Metro Weekly has learned.

Thumbnail image for Tom_Harkin_official_portrait.jpgFor the first time in more than a decade, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee is expected to begin the markup process of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on the morning of July 10.

The committee markup process will be chaired by longtime ENDA supporter, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and is expected to include a committee vote on the legislation to send the bill to the Senate floor. The bill is cosponsored by all 12 Democrats on the committee as well as one Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.).

While Kirk is the only Republican on the committee to openly endorse the bill, advocates believe other Republicans on the committee could vote in favor of ENDA.

"On the committee, I could see us getting three Republican votes," Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, recently told Metro Weekly. "Kirk we know we have, he's a sponsor and a great champion for the bill. I could see [Lisa] Murkowski of Alaska and [Richard] Burr of North Carolina voting for ENDA in committee."

Last month, Murkowski became the third Senate Republican, after Kirk and Rob Portman of Ohio, to express her support for marriage equality. Burr voted to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010.

Next week's markup of ENDA will be the first since 2002, when Sen. Ted Kennedy chaired the committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said in a statement marking June as LGBT Pride month that he looks "forward to taking up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act soon."

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  • , 2013-07-05 02:32:06

    Wait! My people don’t care about my problems sense is tingling! Its telling me that... Transgender workplace protections in that bill won’t make it out of committee.

  • Wayne M., 2013-07-05 23:09:04

    I would hope all legislators, regardless of party or personal beliefs concerning the issue of homosexuality would do the right thing and support ENDA. To discriminate on matters of employment for any excuse is just plain wrong. In fact, all discrimination is just plain wrong.

  • GAG'EM, 2013-07-06 02:46:46

    For all you queers who think gay marriage is a life-or-death issue, try living without a job? In 30 states you don’t have a right to have one. Isn’t it odd that the national gay organizations have almost ignored this issue. For those who claim concern for equality, it’s essential that the Congress passes this.

  • , 2013-07-06 16:19:35

    @GAG-amp-rsquo: Really? You had to include that first sentence? Yes, work is VERY important but I would say love is more important to me than money, although money does obviously help. But don’t come on here and use the word "queer," as it means odd. There’s nothing odd about homosexuality. What’s odd is that people have a miscinception that homosexuals are immoral.

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