Nevada Senator Dean Heller on Monday
announced his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
(ENDA), making him the critical 60th vote needed for
passage in the Senate.
The Nevada Republican joins all 55
Democrats and 4 Republicans in the Senate supporting passage of the
“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 said in a
statement. “Under the leadership of this governor, as well as the
legislature over the past several years Nevada has established a
solid foundation of anti-discrimination laws. This legislation
raises the federal standards to match what we have come to expect in
Nevada, which is that discrimination must not be tolerated under any
On Sunday, President
Barack Obama called on Congress to approve ENDA.
The measure, which seeks to ban
workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
identity, is expected to have its first test in the full Senate on
The bill, however, faces an uphill
battle in the House, where Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from
Ohio, has repeatedly voiced his opposition.
Boehner “believes this legislation
will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially
small business jobs,” a spokesman said Monday.