Different versions of this bill have been introduced to Congress since 1994. In other words, for more than my entire lifetime, America's lawmakers have struggled time and time again over the passage of an anti-discrimination bill.
The Senate's 64-32 vote on ENDA represents historic progress in the march for full equality under the law for LGBT people. And, most importantly, for the first time, a body of Congress has passed ENDA legislation that includes protections for transgender people.
On Monday evening, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was about to clear a key hurdle in the Senate. But first, Republicans who opposed the bill were given a chance to voice their criticism on the Senate floor. After all, there had already been speeches from senators who backed the legislation.
ENDA has a problem: a disturbing religious exemption that has been included in the bill in one form or another ever since it was introduced in 1994. A Catholic school teacher who's done a great job for years could still be fired under ENDA if the principal discovers that she is a lesbian. That's abhorrent.