We are thrilled that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed today in the U.S. Senate.
After decades of advocacy, this is the first time ENDA has been approved in the Senate. Though a version of ENDA was passed through the House of Representatives in 2007, it did not offer protections based on gender identity.
The version of ENDA passed today in the Senate includes broad religious exemptions, meaning religious institutions can continue to discriminate against LGBT employees. For example, Catholic schools can continue to discriminate against LGBT employees, even those in non-ministerial positions.
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania introduced an amendment that would have broadened these religious exemptions, but this amendment failed in a 43-55 vote.
We celebrate ENDA's passage today and continue to support equality for LGBT persons in the workplace.
Image via flickr user Rob Crawley; Graphic via Believe Out Loud