Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) To Introduce Sweeping Federal LGBT Rights Bill

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today announced that in the next session he will introduce a sweeping federal LGBT rights bill that will cover employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations. Justin Snow reports at MetroWeekly:

Merkley said that while the Senate’s passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in November of last year by a 64-32 vote after the bill failed by one vote in 1996 was a “tremendous victory,” if discrimination is wrong in employment, it also must be wrong in areas such as housing, public accommodations and financial transactions. “Such an act would be a major advance for opportunity and equality for the LGBT community and would be a major stride toward a more just society,” said Merkley, who has been the lead sponsor of ENDA in the Senate since assuming that role from Sen. Ted Kennedy in 2009. Merkley made the announcement during the unveiling of a new report by the Center for American Progress addressing the need for comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination protections.

Merkley spearheaded the passage of a similar bill while speaker of the Oregon House.