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House Reps. to introduce ENDA this week

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives held a press conference this morning to announce the introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a law that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ENDA, an important legislative priority for equality advocates, has been introduced each year since 1994. According to LGBT news outlet Metro Weekly, this year's ENDA bill will be identical to the one introduced by Rep. Barney Frank in the previous Congress.

The Human Rights Campaign, which has been pushing for such legislation, said today via its blog that LGBT persons are at greater risk of losing their job in an economy still struggling after a severe recession:

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U.S. House votes to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a stand-alone repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy this afternoon. The House previously passed a measure to overturn the policy as part of a piece of defense legislation, but recent repeal stalls in the Senate prompted House leaders to revisit the issue.

The final vote total was 250 to 175.

Some 15 Republicans voted for repeal. Only five Republicans voted for repeal when the House took on the measure earlier in the year.

In the debate leading up to a final vote on the bill, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) made an impassioned plea on the House floor for passage.

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Frank pessimistic about pro-LGBT legislation

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told the Washington Blade today that he sees “zero chance” of any pro-LGBT legislation coming out of the House of Representatives in the next two years while under Republican control.

“It will be a status quo,” Frank told the paper. “They don’t have the votes to hurt us but we don’t have the votes to advance anything in the cause.”

Frank won a tough reelection battle during the midterm elections against Tea Party-backed Sean Bielat. The win secures his 16th term in the House.

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Frank: ENDA will get House committee vote this month

Barney Frank (D) and Tammy Baldwin (D)

Legislation can be like a train: It runs on a track, makes certain stops along the way, and is often attached to other trains. But in Congress, the train doesn’t run on time.

Last September, gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would likely get a House committee vote in September and a floor vote that fall. Didn’t happen.