Today, the Senate is expected to vote to end debate and bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the floor setting up a vote on final passage later this week. The bill appears likely to get at least the 60 votes required for cloture – if not more – as Republican Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) joined 59 other Senators voicing support for ENDA:
After listening to Nevadans’ concerns about this issue from a variety of viewpoints and after numerous conversations with my colleagues, I feel that supporting this legislation is the right thing to do.
In the House, the ENDA bill has 193 cosponsors – including 5 Republicans.
But Speaker Boehner and House Republican leaders have indicated they will not bring ENDA to the floor for a vote even if it passes in the Senate. From Huffington Post:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) affirmed on Monday morning that he would oppose a law that would prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian workers in the workplace, citing the possibility that it would put a financial burden on businesses.
A GAO report released in July 2013 exposed the truth debunking this myth. According to the report, in 18 states that prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – and four additional states which prohibit employment discrimination for sexual orientation only – “relatively few employment discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity” were filed between 2007 and 2012. So, what is the Speaker’s real excuse for refusing to move legislation that will protect all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation from workplace discrimination?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the House GOP is choosing to stand on the wrong side of history. Speaker Boehner spent $2.3 million taxpayer dollars defending DOMA – a discriminatory policy that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples – before the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional and discarded it in the dustbin of history.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Just how long will this arc be, Speaker Boehner?