The long struggle to pass legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity received a shot in the arm Oct 28 when the Senate majority leader announced that the chamber would take it up for consideration in the coming weeks, BuzzFeed reports.
Noting that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) had failed to make it through the House of Representatives before, Democrat Harry Reid signalled his commitment to bring the measure to the Senate floor, a move that several LGBT advocacy groups hailed.
The Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Work both expressed confidence that the required votes to circumvent a filibuster are available and are working to ensure that support for the bill is maintained.
According to Politico, the measure has bipartisan support, sponsored by 53 senators, including Republicans Susan Collins and Mark Kirk of Maine and Illinois, respectively.
"We have the best chance ever to pass ENDA through one of the chambers," Mara Keisling, of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told BuzzFeed.
Keisling added, "Because of all the work people have done over the years at the grassroots level and on Capitol Hill, we’re optimistic that the Senate vote will go our way. The forthcoming Senate vote will change the playing field once we have a friendlier House that can tackle ENDA.”