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Breaking: Senate votes to approve ENDA

Today the U.S. Senate voted to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT employees in the workforce.

Sixty-one members of the Senate in a bipartisan effort voted to approve the bill that has languished in Congress for some 20 years. The 61-30 vote means ENDA clears the cloture requirement needed for a floor debate and final vote on the bill expected to come later this week.

House Speaker John Boehner, however, has said he is opposed to the legislation meaning it will not likely pass.

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Federal ENDA to pass in Senate but Boehner expected to halt LGBT bill in House



With the U.S. Senate expected to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this week, the bill that would protect LGBT people from being fired from their jobs simply because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, hit a significant hurdle Monday — House Speaker John Boehner.

"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement, according to a story in Huffington Post.

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ENDA vote to come before Thanksgiving

A vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could come before Thanksgiving, according to sources in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Blade reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will announce today that he will bring ENDA to the floor for a vote possibly as soon as next week.

ENDA, a federal bill that would prohibit employers discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, has languished in Congress for years.

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Marietta attorney enters GOP race for Saxby Chambliss’ seat — and supports gay marriage

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Attorney Art Gardner of Marietta announced today he is running for the GOP nomination to replace outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss — and he is not afraid to say he supports same-sex marriage.

“81 percent of Americans under 30 believe in marriage equality. How can our party expect to win, if we exclude major segments of the population with divisive social policies?” Gardner said, citing a Washington Post/ABC poll, in a press release today announcing his candidacy.

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[Video] Rest assured, Michele Bachmann, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and former presidential candidate is throwing in the towel by announcing via YouTube she is not seeking reelection next year. Watch the video of her announcement by clicking here.

She will spend the remaining 18 months of her term working 100-hour weeks and uphold family values, she stresses. And of course, who can forget all the hard work she's done to call out Muslim terrorists?

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U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) supports gay marriage

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U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Democrat, is now the third member of Congress from Georgia to speak out in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Scott joins Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, also Democrats from the Atlanta area.

"Congressman Scott fully supports marriage equality," stated an email from Scott's spokesperson received by gay blog Joe.My.God. yesterday.

 The blog reached out to Scott's office after a reader said that he and his partner met with Scott and he told them he supported marriage equality.

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Obama includes LGBT issues in State of the Union

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President Obama continued his trend of including references to LGBT people in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, but he drew mixed reviews from community leaders.

Early in the one-hour speech, Obama told Congress and the national television audience, “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.”

Later, talking about the military, he said, “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight.”

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Baldwin makes history as first out gay U.S. senator

Tammy Baldwin

Tuesday’s election makes Tammy Baldwin the first openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Senate and brings the tally of LGBT members of the U.S. House to at least five.

"People ... see our country and our states moving toward full equality in many respects," Baldwin told CNN the morning after the election. "When you have legislative bodies that look more like America, that happens."

Baldwin is also the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate.

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Romney VP pick Paul Ryan backed bans on gay marriage, adoption

GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chosen running mate, supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has voted to stop gay couples in Washington, D.C., from adopting children.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced Ryan as his vice presidential nominee Aug. 11. The sparked criticism from LGBT political groups concerned about Ryan’s record as a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin.

The Romney-Ryan ticket “could roll back much of the progress we’ve seen toward full equality,” the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political group, argued in a press release.

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First trans witness testifies at Senate ENDA hearing

Al FrankenGetting Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is no easy task, obviously, especially when it comes to the gender identity part. I mean, the anti-gay bigots are frothing at the mouth thinking about who will be using what bathroom.

But today the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee held a hearing on ENDA and included a transgender witness to testify about his experiences. This is the same Congress that likes to discuss birth control with no women present, so no doubt this was a major victory for LGBT and ENDA activists.