Obama urges ENDA vote in House

President Obama urged House Republicans to bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to a vote Thursday, shortly after the Senate passed the gay rights legislation in a 64-32 vote.

"One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do," Obama said in a statement. "Now is the time to end this kind of discrimination in the workplace, not enable it."

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The legislation creates federal workplace protections for gay and transgender people by banning employers from making hiring and firing decisions on the basis of sexual orientation, and garnered 10 Republican votes in the Senate.

The president heralded the vote as "a tribute to all those who fought for this progress."

"Just as no one in the United States can lose their job simply because of their race, gender, religion or a disability, no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love," Obama said.

But the legislation faces an uphill climb in the Republican-controlled House. On Monday, Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) spokesman said the lawmaker "believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs.”

The Speaker's office also said that he believed current law already prohibited employers from firing their workers because they were LGBT.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday the president would "insist" that the House take up the legislation.

"To oppose this kind of legislation is to announce that you want to be left behind by history," Carney said.

He added that objections voiced by House Republicans were "reminiscent of objections that opponents of other civil rights legislation put forward."

"They were wrong then, and they're wrong now," Carney said.