U.S. Senator Tom Udall has issued the following statement after the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) cleared an important procedural step in the U.S. Senate, winning a bipartisan filibuster-proof 61 votes for the first time in history and moving a significant step closer to passage:
“Today the Senate has taken an important step toward protecting LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination. Clearing this procedural hurdle with a bipartisan vote shows the progress we’ve made in the Senate and in our country.
“I am proud to be a cosponsor of ENDA because New Mexicans and all Americans should be able to work without fear of being harassed, being denied a promotion or losing their jobs just because of who they are.
“This bill is about fairness, and it strikes the right balance between job protections while providing certain exemptions for small businesses and religious organizations. I look forward to the debate this week, and hope we end up with another historic, bipartisan vote to pass this important legislation.”
The bill to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity likely faces one more procedural step requiring 60 votes to end debate. The Senate is expected to vote on final passage later this week.