Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet was part of a bipartisan group of Senators voting today to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate. The final vote was 64-32.
ENDA makes it illegal to hire or fire a person based on their sexual orientation. Under current federal employment law sexual orientation is not a protected class, meaning it's legal to terminate someone based on their sexual identity.
"Today's historic vote reaffirms that when we say liberty and justice for all we include all of our citizens," Bennet said. "Everyone has a right to earn a living and provide for their families. In the Senate we were able to come together as Republicans and Democrats to assert that belief. I urge our colleagues in the House to pass this measure to ensure that, just as in Colorado, LGBT citizens are respected and treated equally in the workplace."
In 2007, the state of Colorado passed the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act which prevents hiring or firing based on sexual orientation.
Bennet has advocated for the LGBT community throughout his career, including sponsoring an amendment to expand services for LGBT seniors and signing on to a legal brief to the United States Supreme Court calling the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. He also was an original co-sponsor of the bill to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."