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Will Congress finally outlaw anti-gay workplace discrimination?

Today, a group of lawmakers is trying to succeed where Congress has failed for almost two decades, by introducing a bill to finally end workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been a top-ticket item for advocates since it was first introduced in 1994, but principle sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley told Salon in an interview this afternoon that he thinks this will be year they succeed.

"I think most Americans would be surprised to find out that it is legal to discriminate against the GLBT community, and to do so in employment, which is fundamental to the opportunity for the pursuit of happiness and for equality under the law and general fairness," the Oregon Democrat said in an interview.

Indeed, though it's almost hard to believe, with no federal statute on the books, it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states that don't have their own non-discrimination laws. In 34 states, you can fire transgender people.

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