U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) believes it is time for the House to vote on the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Last month, the Senate passed the act, which would make it illegal under federal law for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation, by a vote of 64-32. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), however, has said he has no plans to bring the bill up for a vote. Durbin says he disagrees with Boehner’s assertion that existing policies enforced by companies make the act unnecessary.
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“Open up your eyes and talk to a few people because I think you’ll find, sadly, ample examples of this kind of discrimination,” Durbin said. “If it is truly superfluous, if they’re right – and I don’t think they are – what’s to lose by making this a national standard?” There have been several attempts to pass similar legislation since 1974. The closest it came to becoming law was in 2007, when it passed the House with 35 Republican supporters, including two from Illinois. That time, it was the Senate that didn’t vote on it.