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Nevada GOP senator joins Hatch in backing gay rights bill

First Published      Last Updated Nov 04 2013 08:10 am

Washington • Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller is joining Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and three other Republicans in backing a bill that would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Heller announced his support for the measure on Monday morning, just hours before a critical vote in the Senate. The senator said in a statement on his website that supporting the bill is the right thing to do and discrimination must not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Heller's support gives proponents the 60 votes necessary to move ahead on the legislation. All 55 members of the Democratic majority back the bill, as do Hatch and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Senate leaders hope to complete work on the bill by week's end.