Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has revealed that his niece is a lesbian, explaining that there is a personal factor to his interest in banning workplace discrimination.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

"My niece is a lesbian," he told the Huffington Post on Wednesday. "She's a school teacher. Her employment shouldn't be affected with that. We should have a law that says that, not just the good graces of wherever you work." 

The senator was expressing hope that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation, will become law. The legislation hasn't gotten a vote since 2007, but Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is working on bringing it up again.

Reid voted in 1996 for the Defense of Marriage Act. Last year, he came out in support of gay marriage, saying his “personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman” but that "people should be able to marry whomever they want."

Reid is a Mormon, and his church opposes same-sex marriage.