Gay rights bill clears first hurdle in Senate

FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2011, file photo, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Major gay rights legislation is set to clear the first hurdle in the U. S Senate Monday. Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada announced his support on Monday, saying in a statement that the measure "raises the federal standards to match what we have come to expect in Nevada, which is that discrimination must not be tolerated under any circumstance." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
November 4, 2013 3:53:04 PM PST
A major gay rights bill has cleared its first hurdle in the Senate.

On a vote of 61-30, the Senate voted to move ahead on the legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bipartisan vote increases the chances that the Senate will pass the bill by week's end, but its prospects in the Republican-led House are dimmer.

Speaker John Boehner remains opposed to the bill, arguing that it will lead to frivolous lawsuits and undercut job creation.

A vote would come 17 years after the Senate rejected a similar discrimination measure by one vote.

The Obama administration has said passage of the bill is long overdue.


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