- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A bipartisan group of House members said Wednesday they’ve asked Speaker John A. Boehner to schedule a vote by the end of next year on a gay-rights bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has already cleared the Senate. The 10 House lawmakers, led by Democratic Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, New York, and Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona, said Mr. Boehner should bring it up before it dies at the end of the 113th Congress.

In total, five Democrats and five Republicans signed a letter to Mr. Boehner.

“Despite strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, Speaker Boehner is refusing to do the right thing for our country,” Mr. Maloney said in a statement. “The bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a simple concept supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans — people should be evaluated based on their job performance, not who they love or who they are. It’s a disgrace that Speaker Boehner continues to put his own partisan politics ahead of the American people.”

The bill, which would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay and transgender employees, cleared the Senate last month on a 64-32 bipartisan vote.

Mr. Boehner, though, has rejected bringing the bill to the floor. He says he opposes discrimination, but said ENDA opens up too many loopholes for lawyers to sue businesses.

The five Republicans who signed the letter were Reps. Charlie Dent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chris Gibson, Jon Runyan and Richard Hanna. In addition to Mr. Maloney and Ms. Sinema, the three Democrats were Reps. Jared Polis, Ron Kind and Kurt Schrader.



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