Senate Passes Landmark LGBT Rights Bill
Great News: It may have taken nearly two decades, but the Senate finally passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act today on a strong, bipartisan vote of 64-32 (one supporter was absent). Support was unanimous among Democrats and 10 Republicans, including conservative Senators like Kelly Ayotte (NH), Pat Toomey (PA), and Orrin Hatch (UT), also supported the landmark civil rights legislation.
Only one Republican senator even bothered to speak against the bill.
Good News: Before passing the bill, the Senate also overwhelmingly defeated a very damaging amendment that would’ve negated many of the bill’s protections by dramatically and unnecessarily expanding the bill’s religious exemptions, which are already quite expansive.
Bad News: Even before today’s historic vote, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and other GOP leaders in the House of Representatives already said they won’t bring up the bill, even though it would almost certainly pass with a combination of Democratic and Republican votes.
Ugly News: Shockingly, 32 Senate Republicans voted today to deny one of the most basic civil rights — the right to earn a living — to LGBT people.
Bonus News: Hawaii is set to pass marriage equality tomorrow, which would make it the 16th such state overall and the 2nd just this week!
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