Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., hasn’t spoken on the Senate floor since suffering a stroke in early 2012. But his staunch support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act motivated him to speak out about the inclusive legislation.

“I have been silent for the last two years due to a stroke … I have risen to speak because I believe so passionately about enacting the ENDA statute,” Kirk said.

Kirk, the lead Republican sponsor of the bill, is one of five Republicans who publicly support the legislation.

“I think it’s particularly appropriate for an Illinois Republican to speak on behalf of this measure, in the true tradition of Everett McKinley Dirksen and Abraham Lincoln, men who gave us the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 13th amendment to the Constitution,” Kirk said.

Kirk is an ally on other LGBT issues as well. Earlier this year, he endorsed marriage equality, becoming the 50th sitting senator to do so.

On Monday, the Senate voted to 61 to 30 to advance ENDA, with a historic vote on the legislation expected later this week.

Watch the video of his speech below:


Right now in 29 states, there is no state law protecting a gay, lesbian or bisexual person from being fired just because of who they are – and the same is true in 33 states for transgender people.

Tell Congress it’s time to pass ENDA

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Workplace

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