Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley joined a bi-partisan effort to introduce legislation to end workplace discrimination against gays. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2011 would prohibit employers from firing, refusing to hire or discriminating against on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation. Protections are already in place to prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, gender age or disability. Merkley joined fellow Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and Republican Senators Mark Kirk and Susan Collins to introduce the bill. The legislation is similar to Oregon's Workplace Protection Law that went into effect in 2008.