USA: The Employment Non Discrimination Act Cleared for Final Vote in senate

Written by scott on November 7th, 2013

CongressThis just in from the US Senate.

The Advocate reports:

In a procedural vote intended to conclude debate, the Senate voted in favor of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire, or declining to promote a worker simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A bipartisan coalition of 64 senators voted to move ENDA forward, clearing the way for an affirmative final vote, expected to occur around 1:45 p.m. Eastern today. 33 Republican Senators cast “no” votes against the bill.

An amendment to further broaden religious protections was also shot down:

As debate came to a close Thursday afternoon, senators voted down an amendment from Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey that would have expanded the number of groups and individuals who could discriminate against LGBT people based on religious beliefs failed by a vote of 43-55. Toomey, who voted to invoke cloture and begin debate on the bill earlier this week, said he believed his amendment made an effort to relieve tension between “two vitally important American values”: equality and religious liberty. In explaining how his amendment would affect the scope of the law, Toomey noted that some religious-run organizations take part in secular activities but should still be exempted from adhering to ENDA’s nondiscrimination orders.

Final vote due shortly.

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