In Historic First, Senate Approves ENDA

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com November 07 2013 1:53 PM ET

For the first time in history, the U.S. Senate has approved a bill that would outlaw discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The final vote was 64-32 in favor of passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on to the House of Representatives, according to C-SPAN

All 54 Senate Democrats who were present voted for the bill, as did ten Republicans, including surprise "aye" votes from John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona. Find out how each senator voted on the following page. 

As debate came to a close Thursday afternoon, senators voted down an amendment from Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey that would have expanded the number of groups and individuals who could discriminate against LGBT people based on religious beliefs failed by a vote of 43-55. 

Toomey, who voted to invoke cloture and begin debate on the bill earlier this week, said he believed his amendment made an effort to relieve tension between "two vitally important American values": equality and religious liberty. In explaining how his amendment would affect the scope of the law, Toomey noted that some religious-run organizations take part in secular activities but should still be exempted from adhering to ENDA's nondiscrimination orders.

"I think the agreement is that religious institutions, including those engaging in some secular activities, should be exempt from engaging in activities that contradict their religious beliefs," Toomey said on the Senate floor Thursday. Toomey offered examples of such instances where businesses serving the public should be allowed to discriminate, including a gym run by the Mormon Church, a Presbyterian-run retirement home, or a Jewish community center.

Several Democratic senators took the floor in opposition to the amendment, noting that the chamber already approved language exempting faith-based organizations and clergy from ENDA's discrimination protections. 

"This amendment threatens to gut the central premise of ENDA," said Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, who opposed the amendment. "The amendment is ill-defined, and opens floodgates to all kinds of court cases."

See how the vote played out on the next page. 

Senate Bill 815, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act

 

Senators Voting in the Affirmative:

Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennett (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Heidi Heitcamp (D-ND)
Dean Heller (R-NV)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mary Landreiu (D-LA)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Edward Markey (D-MA)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Rob Portman (R-OH)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MT)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senators voting in the negative: 

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Roy Blunt (R-MO)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Daniel Coats (R-IN)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz, Ted (R - TX)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Chuck Grassley(R-IA)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
James M. Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
James E. Risch (R-ID)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Roger F. Wicker (R-MS)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)