Sexual orientation bias bill nears vote
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are unified in backing a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a significant boost for the measure before a crucial Senate vote.
Sen. Joe Manchin, the last Democratic holdout, is now supporting the legislation, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The West Virginia lawmaker joins Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Bill Nelson of Florida, who said this week they back the legislation that is critical to gay rights advocates.
Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, but it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker solely because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
The bill would bar employers with 15 or more workers from using a person's sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, compensation or promotion.
With a vote possible as early as next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., needs 60 votes to overcome a likely GOP-led filibuster. Reid has the support of all 52 Democrats, two independents and is expected to get the vote of Democrat Cory Booker, who will be sworn in as New Jersey senator on Thursday.
Four Republican senators also support the measure — Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — putting Reid within one vote of 60.
Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have approved laws banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 17 of those also prohibit employers from discriminating based on gender identity.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hospital: Girl, 14, dies after Washington state school shooting
- FCC chairman floats ‘hybrid’ ruling on net neutrality
- New York agrees to swift settlement with family of Marine who died in jail cell
- NYPD’s highest black official quits
- Mexican judge releases retired Marine held for 8 months in jail
- Medicare paid for drug coverage of patients who had died, investigators say
- Quarantine lifted, Maine nurse given right to roam
- Space tourism rattled by test flight explosion of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
- Federal civil rights charges called ‘unlikely’ in Ferguson shooting
- Man guilty in Florida A&M University band hazing death
- Maryland drivers scurry to grab cash