Washington • Now, all Democrats in the Senate and four Republicans including Utah's Orrin Hatch are backing a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a significant boost for the measure ahead of a crucial Senate vote.
Sen. Joe Manchin, the last Democratic holdout, is now supporting the legislation, a spokesman said Wednesday. The West Virginia lawmaker joins Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Bill Nelson of Florida, who indicated this week that they back the legislation that is critical to gay rights advocates.
Current federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin, but it doesn't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker solely because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.