Senate OKs Gay Rights Bill

But ENDA faces a tough fight in the House
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2013 1:52 PM CST
Senate OKs Gay Rights Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid leads a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It's the second big win for gay rights this week: The Senate passed what the Hill characterizes as "historic" legislation to forbid discrimination in the workplace based on sexual identity or gender. The vote was 64-32, with 10 Republicans joining all the Democrats in favor. One big caveat to cool the celebration of supporters: The measure doesn't appear to have much of a chance in the House, with John Boehner expressing concerns about "frivolous" lawsuits against businesses.

The fight for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act actually began 17 years ago, notes the Washington Post, but the legislation languished over that span. "Let freedom ring,” said chief sponsor Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, before the vote. "This is the right thing to do," added John McCain before casting his own. Passage comes just days after Illinois lawmakers voted to become the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. (More Senate stories.)

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