October 25, 2013
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, will likely come up for a Senate floor vote in November, according to Congressional sources and outside advocates. This summer, the Senate HELP Committee passed ENDA by a vote of 15 to 7, with Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), joining all Committee Democrats in voting for the bill. The support of those three Republicans means the bill will likely have at least 58 “yea” votes on the Senate floor, and additional Republican support seems likely. So far advocates have reportedly spent $2.5 million and held 150 grassroots events in key states in hopes of getting a bill passed—their efforts may be working. A recent poll from GOP pollster Alex Lundry found that 68 percent of voters, including 56 percent of Republicans, support the bill, and a number of large employers are also supporting it.