A Virginia bill that seeks to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity cleared a major hurdle on Wednesday.

The Virginia Senate General Laws and Technology Committee approved the bill, titled the Virginia Values Act.

Senator Adam Ebbin, a gay Democrat and the bill's sponsor in the Senate, said in a tweet that the bill cleared “with 12 votes, in bipartisan fashion.”

LGBT groups cheered passage of the bill.

“This day was a long time coming,” the LGBTQ Victory Fund said in a tweet. “Thank you, Senator Ebbin, for everything you've done to protect LGBTQ Virginians.”

“[W]e are one step closer to ensuring Virginians are protected from discrimination,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David tweeted.

The proposed legislation is among at least five LGBT rights bills introduced after Democrats regained control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1996.

(Related: Bill that would repeal same-sex marriage ban clears Virginia House.)