The Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with a bipartisan vote of 64-32 today, marking the first time the bill to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity has passed the Senate in 17 years of deliberation.
The Washington Post reports:
In a sign of rapidly shifting opinions on gay rights, every member of the Senate Democratic caucus was joined by 10 Republican senators to approve the measure. The first time the Senate voted on a measure similar to ENDA, in 1996, Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted no. On Thursday they voted yes.
“This is the right thing to do,” McCain told reporters shortly before he cast his vote.
The bill faces a hard road in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner has already expressed his opposition. The House previously passed a version of the bill in 2007 that excluded transgender protections, but it was rejected by the Senate.