The U.S. Senate
has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
, which prohibits workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people. It provides some religious exceptions as well as small employers. The bipartisan vote was 64-32.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor
voted for the historic legislation along with all other Democrats and 10 Republicans.
Republican Sen. John Boozman
joined other Republicans in voting no.
The bill is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled House.
Speaker Boehner may not give it a vote. A vote against the bill is a vote to protect those who want to discriminate on account of sexual orientation. 80 percent of Arkansans said in a recent poll they think that's wrong. Popular sentiment is unlikely to sway Arkansas House Republicans, who are expected to continue to vote in favor of legal discrimination. The party base expects no less. Discrimination against gay people is a longstanding GOP platform plank, be it in marriage, adoption, foster care or holding a job. Some Arkansas Republicans have even objected to gubernatorial appointment of a gay person on account of his sexual orientation. At least one senator, Jason Rapert
, in the last week has compared homosexuality with pedophilia.