A Senate panel has approved a bill that would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) measure won support from all the Democrats and three Republicans on the 22-member committee, signaling it has a strong chance of passage in the full Senate.
"Despite significant progress for LGBT people and families in recent years there is still no explicit federal law that protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination; ENDA would extend federal employment discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity," according to the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. "Currently only 17 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, while an additional four prohibit employment discrimination based only on sexual orientation. As a result, LGBT people face serious discrimination in employment, including being fired, being denied a promotion and experiencing harassment on the job."