July 31, 2014

Harkin pushes bill prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, spoke on the Senate floor today urging passage of a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Harkin said a vote in favor of the bill would be positive for both the House and Senate. “I think in the general public we’re probably about as popular as a toothache right now,” Harkin said. “But this week we can show the American people that we can come together and we can lift our eyes above the haze and the smoke, the horizon, and we can make this country a better place for all.”

Harkin is the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee which passed what’s called the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” in July. “Let’s do this and let’s bring to the American people what they think they have already and what they know they want — which is a society free of discrimination,” Harkin said.

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the bill tonight. Reports say the bill is not expected to be brought up for a vote in the U.S. House.