Saturday, November 02, 2013

UPDATE: ENDA Cloture Vote Scheduled For Monday Night

A historic vote will happen in the United States Senate on Monday night. The nation's most important legislative body will vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the federal bill that would ban LGBT employment discrimination nationwide. This is historic because it is the first time in 17 years the bill has a realistic chance of passing the Senate; in 1996 an earlier version of ENDA failed by 1 vote, 49-50. It's possible, but unlikely, that history could repeat itself, because by my count there are currently only 59 public supporters in the Senate and in the new modus operandi of the body all significant pieces of legislation have to reach a 60-vote threshold of support in order to pass.

Currently there are 29 states where there are no state laws protecting against sexual orientation-based employment discrimination and there are 33 states where there is no state-based protection for employment discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. ENDA becoming law would mean LGBT people would be protected nationwide and would be one of the rare examples of the federal legislature acting in the interests of LGBT people.

According to The Advocate, after a successful cloture vote on Monday, actual passage of the bill would occur on Wednesday November 6.

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