The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has been introduced into the US senate.

“The introduction of the bill in the US Senate is an important and historic step in ending discrimination,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

“No American, and that includes LGBT Americans, should have to worry about their livelihood being taken away from them simply for being who they are. The overwhelming majority of the American people are in favour of this legislation and now is the time for our community to visit their representatives in Congress to let them know we need this passed into law.”

The bill was introduced by long-time sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy, along with Senators Jeff Merkley and Susan Collins. “There is no place in the workplace for employment discrimination,” said Merkley.

“No worker in America should be fired or denied a job based on who they are. Discrimination is wrong, period. I’m proud to join Senator Kennedy, who is a civil rights legend, and Senators Collins and Snowe, both champions for equality, in taking this next step in our ongoing effort to create a more perfect union and guarantee every American, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, the right to earn a living,” he said.

The bill needs only 51 votes to pass, but the Democratic majority has sought to ensure 60 votes before bringing legislation to the floor in order, they say, to ward off any attempts to scupper the legislation.

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