Senate nears historic vote on gay rights bill
WASHINGTON - The Senate is pushing toward a historic vote on legislation outlawing workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
All 55 members of the Democratic majority and several Republicans are expected to unite Thursday in backing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Senate passage would be a major victory for gay rights advocates in a momentous year.
In June, the Supreme Court affirmed gay marriage and granted federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Illinois was on the verge of becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage along with the District of Columbia.
The progress was tempered by the reality that the Republican-led House is unlikely to even vote on the bill.
Speaker John Boehner maintains his longstanding opposition, arguing it is unnecessary and certain to create costly, frivolous lawsuits.