House Democrats seek to breathe new life into ENDA

And here I just got finished telling an audience yesterday at the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was dead.

Guess I was wrong.

More on this after the jump…

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Last November, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would amend Title VII to forbid LGBT discrimination in the workplace, passed the Senate by a vote of 64-32.

The bill then moved to the House of Representatives for further consideration and a vote. What happened, instead, is that it has languished for nearly one year.

Until now.

Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports (here) that Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, filed a discharge petition yesterday. 

WTH is a discharge petition? Well, I Google it and found out that a discharge petition is “a petition signed by the members of the House of Representatives to bring a bill from committee to the floor for consideration. A discharge petition requires the signature of an absolute majority of the members (218 members).

Mario Trujillo, reporting at (here), notes that “discharge petitions are rarely successful, and the petition is likely an attempt to highlight the issue ahead of the midterm elections.”

Earlier this year, President Obama signed an Executive Order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors.

The version of ENDA now pending in the House, contains a narrowed religious exemption, one which led prior supporters of ENDA; namely, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the American Civil Liberties Union, to stop supporting the bill.

However, according to Justin Snow reporting at the Advocate (here), Rep. Polis is confident that, if this version of ENDA goes to a full House vote, it will pass.