GOP Sen. Dean Heller announces support for ENDA

The Nevada senator says passing the Employee Non-Discrimination Act is "the right thing to do"

By Elias Isquith

Published November 4, 2013 3:10PM (EST)

According to the Huffington Post, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller announced on Monday his intention to vote for passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"After listening to Nevadans' concerns about this issue from a variety of viewpoints and after numerous conversations with my colleagues, I feel that supporting this legislation is the right thing to do," said Heller in a statement. "This legislation raises the federal standards to match what we have come to expect in Nevada, which is that discrimination must not be tolerated under any circumstance."

Heller's support takes the bill tantalizingly close to reaching the 60-vote, filibuster-proof threshold required for passage. It already is backed by the entire Democratic caucus, along with Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Illinois' Republican Sen. Mark Kirk.

More from the Huffington Post:

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted for the bill out of committee, although they haven't committed to supporting the bill on the floor. Hatch revealed last week that he might like to see some changes to the legislation. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he is "inclined to support" the bill, and advocates believe there are a handful of other Republican senators who may be persuadable.

If Hatch and Murkowski end up supporting the bill, it will have the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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