The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) may be largely doomed in the House, if it isn’t a non-starter, but that isn’t stopping the Senate. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that, in a rare move for the Senate Majority leader, he would be affixing his name to the act as a cosponsor.
ENDA would prevent workplace discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.
In a statement send to the Huffington Post, Reid stated “No one should face discrimination in their workplace based on sexual orientation. 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.”
His support means that ENDA has the backing of half the Senate.
ENDA has stagnated in the House and Senate since the Republicans took the House in 2010. The last time it came to the floor of either chamber was in 2007 where it passed the House 235 to 184. This time, it was introduced in the House by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate.
Recently, Obama addressed the need for ENDA to pass saying “In 34 states, you can be fired just because of who you are or who you love. That’s wrong. There’s a bipartisan bill moving forward in the Senate that would ban discrimination against all LGBT Americans in the workplace, now and forever. We need to get that passed. I want to sign that bill. We need to get it done now.”
ENDA has two Republican cosponsors- Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Illinois). When ThinkProgress tried to ask Senators Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) and Marco Rubio (Florida) about the issue, they ran as fast as they could.