The U.S. Senate has passed a bill by a margin of 64-32 that places a ban on workplace discrimination typically directed at LGBT workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Ten Republicans joined Democrats making this bill an rare example of bipartisan support for a social issue. This is the first time in our nation’s history that a bill that protects LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination has made it to the Senate floor.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act bill now moves to the House where Republican majority leader John Boehner where there are highs the ENDA will pass on its way to the president for a signature. The fight is not expected to be easy but should Republicans quash this effort, it sends a signal that the big tent they are trying to erect to attract more voters is loaded with holes.
This bill is significant because it means no one can be legally discriminated against in the workplace just because of their sexual identity.
Equality is gaining traction. Between the Supreme Court decision that negated Prop 8 in California, Illinois seems poised to join Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island to the list of states where Gay Marriage is legal. However, there are still 29 states that lack a state-specific law that protects LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination.