U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted in favor of S.815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA), a bill he is cosponsoring to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill passed with a 64 to 32 vote.
"Today the Senate took a historic step toward creating a more fair and just America," said Sen. Heinrich. "Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ensures that every employee in every state is judged not on who they are or who they love, but on the quality of their work. I'm proud to be a longtime supporter of ENDA and to represent a state that was at the forefront of providing these kinds of workplace protections for our LGBT community a decade ago. I urge the House to follow suit and hold a vote on ENDA so it can be signed into law this year."
ENDA would prohibit employers nationwide from firing, refusing to hire, or discriminating against those employed or seeking employment, on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity. Such protections are already in place prohibiting discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). It currently has a total of 55 cosponsors in the Senate.
New Mexico amended its Human Rights Act in 2003 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and consumer credit, placing it among those states that provide the strongest protections for gay and transgender workers.