Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has a long history of publicly supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
This week, Reid, the Senate majority leader, revealed that he has personal motivation for supporting the legislation.
“My niece is a lesbian,” Reid told The Huffington Post. "She's a school teacher. Her employment shouldn't be affected with that. We should have a law that says that, not just the good graces of wherever you work."
In the interview, Reid recalled being urged by the HRC president in the 1990s to support the legislation.
"He said to me, 'You're a moderate guy. If you came out for ENDA, we could pick up a lot more votes,'" Reid told The Huffington Post. "I said he's probably right. So I agreed to cosponsor that, and as a result, we were able to put that on the floor. It failed by one vote, basically."
HRC has been advocating for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act since it was first introduced in 1994 and its passage is a top organizational priority.