U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted Monday to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from discrimination in the workplace based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Senate voted 61-30 to invoke cloture on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, clearing the way for a vote on final passage on Wednesday.
"Every American should be able to go to work free from fear that he or she could be fired simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender," Senator Coons said. "It is simply not consistent with America's shared values to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Like so many Delawareans, I was proud when our state enacted protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation in 2009, and again when protections for transgender Delawareans were added earlier this year. Some of Delaware's biggest companies and employers, including DuPont, Dow, Bank of America, TD Bank, Christiana Care, and the University of Delaware have led the way with their own policies to protect the rights of LGBT employees.
"The Senate's vote today to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act came with bipartisan support," Senator Coons continued. "More than two-thirds of Americans support the bill, including more than half of Republicans and majorities in every state. Americans want these protections in place, so I hope the House of Representatives will bring this bill up for a vote soon."
Senator Coons cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the current and previous Congresses and is a strong supporter of civil rights and LGBT equality. He is also a cosponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, Uniting American Families Act, Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act, Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, and the legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.