West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on
Wednesday told The New York Times that he would vote for the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
“There's no way that I could not
support something that basically bans discrimination,” Manchin
told the paper. “There's no way. It's just a fundamental
Manchin became the final Democratic
holdout on the legislation after Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor
announced his backing on Tuesday and Florida Senator Bill Nelson did so on
The endorsements came within days after
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that a full Senate vote
on ENDA will take place before Thanksgiving.
ENDA, which seeks to prohibit workplace
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,
cleared a Senate committee in July. Three Republicans – Senators
Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Orrin Hatch of
Utah – joined all Democrats on the committee in sending the bill to
the full Senate.
The legislation is within one vote of
gaining the support it needs to clear the Senate.
A possible fourth Republican vote could
come from Ohio's Rob Portman, who earlier this week said he was
leaning in that direction. Portman announced in March his support for
marriage equality. He said he reversed his stance after learning
that his son is gay.