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But Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote against the measure.

“ENDA is simply not sound public policy, defining discrimination based on subjective perception of sexual orientation rather than externally identifiable characteristics of race and gender,” he said. “It will burden family-owned businesses with unnecessary and costly litigation, compliance costs, and risk avoidance through litigation mitigation that will divert resources from creating jobs.”

⦁ Ben Wolfgang contributed to this report.