The US Senate has approved a bill that would outlaw discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals, a move hailed by equal rights activists despite the fact that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is likely to kill the measure. According to the Associated Press, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed in the Senate by a vote of 64 to 32 — a vote that included some surprising bipartisan support. Ten Republican Senators voted in favor of the bill alongside 54 members of the Democratic majority. "It is time for Congress to pass a federal law that ensures all our citizens — regardless of where they live — can go to work unafraid to be who they are," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal imploring lawmakers to pass the bill, and today he's thanking the Senate for its contribution.
Thanks to all Senators who supported ENDA! I encourage the House to follow suit and end discrimination. http://t.co/nXEhA9IKRf— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 7, 2013
However, House speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has repeatedly said that he opposed the bill, and the Republican-controlled House is likely to follow his lead. Boehner believes the bill is unnecessary and will create unnecessary lawsuits for businesses. This news comes just a few days after Illinois became the 15th state in the US to legalize gay marriage — both the Illinois House and Senate passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, and governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign the bill this month.