Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Monday said for the first time that he supports a bill which seeks to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Cook made his endorsement hours before the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) cleared a critical hurdle in the U.S. Senate.

(Related: Gay protections bill ENDA clears cloture hurdle in Senate.)

“As we see it, embracing people's individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights,” Cook wrote in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal. “It also turns out to be great for the creativity that drives our business. We've found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.”

While Cook has not publicly discussed his sexual orientation, he's a staple on Out magazine's annual ranking of America's most powerful gays.

“If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace they certainly cannot be their best selves,” Cook added.

While the Senate is now expected to approve the measure, its fate looks bleak in the House, where House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, on Monday repeated his opposition to the measure.

Boehner “believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs,” a spokesman said.

(Related: Obama: ENDA will face resistance in the House.)