Rob Portman is not sold on ENDA

The Ohio senator, who recently backed gay marriage, will reportedly not support the legislation in its current form

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 7, 2013 12:57PM (EDT)

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who recently became the first Republican senator to back gay marriage, will reportedly not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in its current form. The legislation would implement protections against discrimination for LGBT Americans.

Meredith Shiner of Roll Call reports:

Sen. Rob Portman likely will not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as it is currently written, according to a source familiar with the senator’s thinking.

Portman was the first Senate Republican to support gay marriage, when in March he revealed his college-aged son Will is gay. But Portman is concerned about the current ENDA language and has demurred in public when asked whether he could support the bill, introduced last month by a bipartisan group of senators led by Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

When asked about ENDA at a Buzzfeed event on Monday, Portman said: “I totally support the concept. This is about discrimination in the workplace. And there should be no discrimination and there ought to be a law in place, in my view." But, he continued, he also has concerns about the language. “The current version of ENDA that I’ve looked at, I have some concerns about. One, about the litigation that would result because it could be heavily litigated the way it is written," Portman said.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Employment Discrimination Enda Gay Rights Lgbt Ohio Republicans Rob Portman