Every Democratic member of the U.S. Senate has now declared support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Sen. Joe Manchin announced his intention to support the legislation today. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, the second-to-last holdout, announced his “aye” vote yesterday in a brief message to the Arkansas Times.
A vote is coming soon on the legislation to prohibit discrimination in the workplace for reason of sexual orientation or gender identity. The head counting of the balance of the Senate offers hope that enough Republicans will support the measure to overcome a filibuster, though that count isn’t firm yet.
Though polls indicate that most Americans support workplace equality and many believe it is already the law, the legislation faces likely defeat in the Republican-controlled House. Discrimination against gay people remains a key platform plank for the Arkansas and National Republican Parties. Polls, even in Arkansas, show broad support for equal treatment in the workplace.
BTW: I wrote on this topic this week. Will it be an issue in the U.S. Senate race between Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton, until now a reliable foe of equality?