Senate Makes Historical, Bipartisan Vote To Approve ENDA

senateThe 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.

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  • Polaro

    A win for the good guys.

  • Kangol

    Very good. It should have been 100-0, a majority vote is still very good.

  • Derek Williams

    While I do applaud the Democrat majority and the 10 Republicans who passed this bill, I believe ENDA in its present diluted form should be abandoned until the next elections, when it is hoped a Democrat Congress will approve it without all its gutting Republican exemptions.

    The President is right not to force ENDA into law by Executive Order. This must come from the people so as to avoid widespread civil disobedience annihilating its effectiveness. Moreover an Executive Order can be too easily overtuned by an incoming Republican presidency.

    This strategy was effectively employed by President Obama in the repeal of DADT, where he preferred to let the reform go to Congress, where it passed comfortably, was ratified by the Senate with the approval of over 70% of the general population and the military themselves. There’s not a Republican anywhere now who would have a snowball’s chance in hell of reinstating DADT.

    The same goes for ENDA. It’s been too long in the making now to be defanged into a toothless tiger.

  • Elloreigh

    Frankly, my reaction to this news is a big, “So what?”. It has zero chance of getting through the House thanks to partisan politics.

    Just can’t get excited about a vote that the politicians all know is purely symbolic.

  • AuntieChrist

    Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is clearly unconstitutional. But since the constitution is only used when it fits certain peoples ideologies or is convenient to conservatives. I won’t hold my breath. Isn’t there something in it about separation of church and state? I can’t recall. I guess that is not uncommon.

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