Senate panel to vote on LGBT protections bill ENDA next week

Wed. July 3, 2013 7:40 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Washington, DC - A Senate committee next week will vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Senator Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), announced on Tuesday that the committee will hold a markup of the proposed legislation.

The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Senators Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, and Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois.

"This marks the first time a fully inclusive ENDA will ever be marked up in front of the U.S. Senate and is a historic step forward for equal protection," Merkley said in a statement. "I thank Chairman Harkin for scheduling a markup of this critical legislation. Americans understand that it's time to make sure our LGBT friends and family are treated fairly and have the same opportunities as all Americans. Now it's time for our laws to catch up. People should be judged at work on their ability to do the job, period."

The bill is expected to fare well in the committee, which is packed with co-sponsors.

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