The Senate is set to advance legislation banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity – a victory for gay rights supporters despite the bill's dim prospects in the House.
The measure, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, faces a key test vote in the Senate Monday evening.
It appears to have support from at least 60 senators — the threshold needed to avoid a filibuster — after Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he would endorse the bill.
A "patchwork of state laws excludes tens of millions of Americans from basic protection against discrimination. It is simply not good enough," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday. "As long as hardworking, qualified Americans can be denied job opportunities, fired or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identify, all workers are at risk."