With Illinois Poised to Become the 15th State Legalizing Gay Marriage, Durbin Heralds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to End LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Prior to Senate passage of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke at a press conference in support of the measure, which is the most important gay-rights legislation to come before the Senate since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In his remarks, Durbin praised his colleague U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who has supported ENDA since he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001. The legislation was passed by a vote of 64-32.

“Almost half of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States live in a state where they are not protected from discrimination. Discrimination of any kind is just plain wrong and with a vote this afternoon, the Senate will act to fix one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time – discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Durbin said. “We now have an opportunity to outlaw one of the last vestiges of discrimination in the workplace. Passing ENDA is our chance to get on the right side of history and give all Americans an opportunity to excel in the workplace based on their job performance – not who they are or who they love.”

Durbin also commended the Illinois General Assembly for passing legislation legalizing gay marriage earlier this week.

“This week in my home state of Illinois, the General Assembly voted to legalize gay marriage. When Governor Quinn signs the measure into law, Illinois will be the 15th state in the nation to allow marriage equality. This was an historic victory and one that shows how quickly our country is moving towards justice and fairness for all.”


Earlier this year, Senator Durbin wrote to the members of the Illinois General Assembly, urging them to vote in support of marriage equality. That letter can be found here.