The Senate is moving forward on the first major bill barring workplace discrimination against gays in nearly two decades as Americans' shifting views about homosexuality have significantly changed the political dynamic.
Seven Republicans and 54 Democrats stood together Monday and cleared the bill past its first hurdle on a 61-30 procedural vote, setting the stage for debate on Tuesday and possible passage by week's end. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would prohibit employment discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The legislation is the first significant gay rights bill since Congress ended the ban on gays serving openly in the military in 2010. It faces strong opposition in the House, with Republican Speaker John Boehner of Ohio rejecting the measure.