U.S. Senate Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill Endorsed by Tim Cook
The United States Senate has approved the anti-discrimination bill that Apple CEO Tim Cook endorsed in an Op-Ed earlier this week.
In a 64-32 vote, the Senate voted to pass the Employment Nondiscrimation Act today, sending the legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives where its future is uncertain. The bill adds gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals to the U.S.'s existing nondiscrimination law.
Tim Cook tweeted about the passing of the bill, saying:
Thanks to all Senators who supported ENDA! I encourage the House to follow suit and end discrimination.
“The time has come for Congress to pass a federal law that ensures all citizens, regardless of where they live, can go to work not afraid of who they are,” Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said on Thursday, noting that a vast majority of Americans already think such a law is in place. “Well, it isn’t already the law,” he added. “Let’s do what the American people think already exists.”
Republicans who voted against the bill, known as the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, were muted in their opposition. The first senator to rise and speak against the bill on the floor all week was Dan Coats of Indiana, who said Thursday morning that religious freedoms were at risk, despite the bill’s broad exemption for religious institutions.
Those exemptions, he said, did not go far enough.
In his op-ed, Tim Cook wrote that Apple has made it a point to create "a safe and welcoming workplace for all employees, regardless of their race, gender, nationality or sexual orientation", while also elaborating on employee rights to express identity in a working environment.
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