The final vote was 64-32, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats. The Republican senators backing the legislation were cosponsors Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), along with Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
Sen. Toomey tried to amend the bill at the last minute that would have weakened the protections under the guise of religious liberty but that was shot down and he voted in favor of it in the end. Nice try of Pat trying to have it both ways.
Only one Senator spoke against the measure and it now moves to the House. It is hard to speak out against ending discrimination. The Speaker says it's a jobs killer and won't bring it up for a vote. I think that may change.
Congressman Matt Cartwright sent a press release supporting the law but Lou Barletta has not stated his position.
Cartwright Statement on Senate Passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act
Washington – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright released the following statement after the Senate passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act with a bipartisan vote of 64-32:
“Today, the Senate took an important step forward toward protecting all Americans from workplace and employment discrimination by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with a strong, bipartisan vote of 64-32.
“This legislation will make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT Americans in hiring, provide safeguards against wrongful termination, and ensure that LGBT employees cannot be held back from advancement because of discrimination.
“Currently 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, unfortunately, Pennsylvania is not one of those 21 states.
“I applaud Senator Bob Casey and Senator Pat Toomey for supporting this legislation and urge Speaker Boehner to reconsider his previous remarks and allow the House to take up the Senate's bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act without delay.”
Statement by the President on Senate Passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013
For more than two centuries, the story of our nation has been the story of more citizens realizing the rights and freedoms that are our birthright as Americans. Today, a bipartisan majority in the Senate took another important step in this journey by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would help end the injustice of our fellow Americans being denied a job or fired just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Just as no one in the United States can lose their job simply because of their race, gender, religion or a disability, no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love.
Today’s victory is a tribute to all those who fought for this progress ever since a similar bill was introduced after the Stonewall riots more than three decades ago. In particular, I thank Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Harkin, Senators Merkley and Collins for their leadership, and Senator Kirk for speaking so eloquently in support of this legislation. Now it’s up to the House of Representatives. This bill has the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities. They recognize that our country will be more just and more prosperous when we harness the God-given talents of every individual.
One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do. Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it. I urge the House Republican leadership to bring this bill to the floor for a vote and send it to my desk so I can sign it into law. On that day, our nation will take another historic step toward fulfilling the founding ideals that define us as Americans.
Update from Lou Barletta's spox:
The Congressman opposes discrimination. He has not seen the bill, however, and wants to make sure it does not infringe on any rights of others – religious institutions for example.