Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senate advances bill to ban workplace bias against gays

WASHINGTON — A long-stalled bill banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is likely to pass the Senate as early as this week, a sign of the fast-changing political landscape for gay rights.

The fight over the measure is far from over, however. Conservative groups launched a last-ditch effort to stop it in the Senate. In the House, approval appeared even slimmer as Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced his opposition.

The Senate signaled its likely approval Monday with a 61-30 vote clearing the way for debate and a final vote this week on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate in the hiring and firing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

Florida's senators were split, with Democrat Bill Nelson voting to begin debate and Republican Marco Rubio opposed. The Senate's likely approval reflects changing times and changing public and political attitudes among Democrats and Republicans toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

"Today marks another step forward in the progress of the United States of America in making sure that all of our citizens are treated fairly and equitably under law," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. "It is a huge step forward, one too long in coming."

The bill, introduced in Congress every year since 1994, failed by one vote in the Senate in 1996. In 2007, it passed the House but died in the Senate.

Since then, Congress overturned the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in 2010 and ended the ban on gays and lesbians serving in uniform.

Senate advances bill to ban workplace bias against gays 11/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]