WASHINGTON — Two of the last three remaining Democratic U.S. Senators have announced their support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The measure now has 57 votes in the Senate, and will presumably gain a 58th when Senator-elect Cory Booker is sworn in Thursday to represent New Jersey, putting ENDA just two votes shy of the 60 needed to pass that chamber without the threat of a filibuster.
“It is long past time that Congress come together to protect LGBT people from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, said Tico Almeida, founder and president of Freedom to Work, a national LGBT organization dedicated to passing ENDA.
“After months of meeting with Republican Senators and their senior staff, we’re confident we have the 60 votes to defeat any attempted filibuster. We’re keeping the pressure up as the vote approaches,” said Almeida, in a statement to LGBTQ Nation.
Article continues belowLGBT advocates are hoping to earn the support of more Republican senators. Although Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have not signed on as ENDA co-sponsors, they voted for the bill in committee in July.
A spokesperson for Reid told LGBTQ Nation on Monday that the exact scheduling of a floor vote has yet to be determined.