Republicans Orrin Hatch and John McCain were among the Republicans who voted for the bill that would forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Both Texas senators voted against the bill.
White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett encouraged the Senate to vote for the bill.
“A majority of Americans assume there is a prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace. There’s not, and that’s exactly why this is so important,” she wrote in a press release. “It’s not just civil rights advocates who support ENDA. Business leaders know that prohibiting employment discrimination is good for business. Inclusive workplaces attract the best and brightest employees, and improve their bottom line.”
GetEqual spokeswoman Heather Cronk wrote, “Today’s passage of ENDA is, indeed, a historic moment for our community and our allies.”
But she said the bill had flaws.
“The broad religious exemptions in the bill cemented into law the very biases that the legislation was intended to overcome,” she wrote.
The bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives. President Barack Obama has said he will sign the bill into law.