A Republican U.S. Senator from Nevada just crushed GOP and religious right hopes of filibustering ENDA. Announcing that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act merely “raises the federal standards to match what we have come to expect in Nevada, which is that discrimination must not be tolerated under any circumstance,” Senator Dean Heller became the 60th supporter of the legislation that will receive its initial vote today.
“After listening to Nevadans’ concerns about this issue from a variety of viewpoints and after numerous conversations with my colleagues, I feel that supporting this legislation is the right thing to do,” Heller added.
Heller, a Mormon married with four children, is 53 years old and was initially appointed to his Senate seat following the resignation of embattled GOP Senator John Ensign. Heller subsequently won his seat in an election last year.
Heller has certainly grown over the last few years. he received a “0″ percent rating from HRC after voting as a U.S. Congressman against a hate crimes bill and against ENDA in 2007.
The last time ENDA received a vote in the Senate, 1996, it failed by a single vote, 49-50.
Heller’s support could soften right wing backlash against any other Republicans wishing to jump on board. ENDA is supported by the vast majority of Americans.
Image of Dean Heller via his Twitter page
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