Senator Bill Nelson has announced today that he will co-sponsor the inclusive ENDA legislation coming up for a vote in the next month. Nelson was one of only three Democrats who haven't co-sponsored the bill leaving only Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Mark Pryor (Arkansas) as the two holdouts. Republican Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Illinois) have also co-sponsored the legislation and Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted in favor of the bill in committee.
While it seems likely that ENDA will pass in the Senate (where the bill has usually languished), there is no chance it will pass the Republican controlled House of Representatives. This will be the first time the bill has been debated by the full Senate.
The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force reacted in a press release this morning:
"Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our allies across the Sunshine State -- and indeed across the nation -- will be delighted to hear that Senator Nelson is going to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This is an opportunity for all senators to make history. A vote for ENDA is a vote for access to the American Dream and against its biggest enemy: discrimination."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced yesterday that a vote on ENDA would be scheduled in the next four weeks.
Editors Note: This piece has been changed to replace the photo of former Senator Ben Nelson with one of current Senator Bill Nelson. We regret the error.