WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he’ll co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, becoming the 50th co-sponsor of the measure aimed at banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill, which has languished in Congress for more than a decade, would prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT Americans by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees.
“No one should face discrimination in their workplace based on sexual orientation,” Reid said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “It’s time to make fairness the law of the land. That is why I am co-sponsoring this legislation and I will do everything I can to ensure that it passes the Senate.”
Reid said earlier this week that he expects it to reach the Senate floor “soon.”
The measure has been introduced in every Congress since 1994 (except the 109th). Similar legislation has been introduced without passage since 1974.
In 2009, then-Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a transgender-inclusive version of ENDA. He introduced it again in 2011, and Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced it in the Senate.
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, pledged that ENDA “will move this year” in the Senate.
ENDA was re-introduced in the both the U.S. House and Senate on April 25.