As Historic US Senate Vote Moves LGBT Workplace Equality Bill Forward,
Equality Florida Applauds Senator Bill Nelson's Leadership;
Rubio stands on wrong side of history
(November 4, 2013) -- Today, the US Senate took a major step closer to passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Seven Republicans joined all of the Democrats on the floor in a 61-30 cloture vote, clearing a procedural hurdle that means the bill can't be stalled using a filibuster. The final vote will occur later this week.
Support for ending discrimination against LGBT people has never been higher, as an overwhelming majority of the nation’s largest employers already offer these protections. I n Florida, we know that 73% of people support adding LGBT people into nondiscrimination laws.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) voted in favor of the bill after signing on as a co-sponsor last week. His support was quickly followed by the last remaining Democrats and the public commitment of key Republicans, all but assuring today's historic vote. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) opposed the measure.
“Senator Nelson’s leadership on this issue is what gave this bill the momentum it needed to ensure passage in the days leading up to the vote,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.
“It is shameful that Florida’s junior Senator Marco Rubio lacked the common sense and the decency to support a measure that would simply ensure that all employees are treated fairly," said Smith. “We hope Senator Rubio will take time to review the bill more clearly and will change his vote when the matter comes back before the Senate later this week.”
The President has campaigned in support for ENDA. After the expected passage of the bill later this week in the Senate, the bill will continue to the House of Representatives.
Floridians may contact Senator Rubio and tell him to vote to pass ENDA by going to www.eqfl.org/fired.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. www.eqfl.org