August 5th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley And Extending Employment Protections to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) today was among a group of four senators to introduce the latest version of a bill that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The freshman Democrat announced today he is a sponsor — along with Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (both R-Maine) — of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The measure's anti-discrimination provisions already exist for race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability. And the extension of those provisions to sexual orientation and gender identity has long been a priority for gay rights groups, who are optimistic that large Democratic majorities in Congress as well as a Democrat in the White House gives this bill a good chance of success.

The four senators backing this measure have 34 co-sponsors including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). But the only two Republicans on that overall list of 38 are Collins and Snowe.

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