The White House on Wednesday released a statement applauding Senate committee passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which seeks to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ENDA cleared the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee with a 15-7 vote. Three Republicans – Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Orrin Hatch of Utah – joined all Democrats in sending the bill to the full Senate.

“The President welcomes the bipartisan approval of S. 815, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2013, by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today,” the White House said in a statement. “He thanks Committee Chairman Harkin, Senator Merkley, and Senator Kirk for their leadership on this important issue. The President has long supported an inclusive ENDA, which would enshrine into law strong, lasting and comprehensive protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We look forward to the full Senate’s consideration of ENDA, and continue to urge the House to move forward on this bill that upholds America’s core values of fairness and equality.”