A Senate panel approved legislation Wednesday in a bipartisan 15-7 vote that would outlaw discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

Three Republicans joined 12 Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in approving the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

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The GOP votes came from Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchRepublicans think Trump is losing trade war McConnell tells senators he might scrap August recess Longtime tax aide leaving Senate Finance Committee MORE (Utah), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKeeping Pruitt could cost GOP Congress, Trump in the fall Trump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary MORE (Alaska), and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (Ill.). Hatch voted aye by proxy.

The legislation would outlaw any kind of discrimination based on sexual orientation including both hiring and firing and other employment related matters like salaries and terms of employment.

Federal law currently outlaws employment discrimination centered on age, disability, national origin, race, religion or sex but not gender identity or sexual orientation. ENDA aims to fill the hole in states in the 33 states where there is no separate law against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The vote came swiftly Wednesday morning just as the committee gaveled into session. Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinDem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Trump should require federal contractors to follow the law MORE (D-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, said this would be the first time the committee would report to the full Senate a bill that “prohibits discrimination based on sexual discrimination and gender orientation.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.) said he expected to hold a floor vote on the bill "soon." 

Despite the committee vote, it is unclear whether the legislation could gain the 60 votes necessary to surpass a Senate filibuster. The bill has not had a vote in the House or Senate floor since 2007, despite being reintroduced in multiple Congresses.

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration MORE (R-Tenn.) promised to introduce three amendments to the ENDA bill when it hits the Senate floor. According to his office, Alexander thinks the bill needs to give more guidance to employers.

One amendment says that an employer is not required to alter existing bathroom facilities. The amendment also lets an employer assign an employee transitioning from one gender to another to either a men's or women's bathroom or a shared bathroom as long as the assignment is meant to be as least disruptive to the office place as possible.

The second amendment defines an employee that is "transitioning" from one gender to a different one. The bill offers rights for individuals transitioning but does not definite when an employee is transitioning.

The third amendment strikes a provision in ENDA that allows sexual discrimination lawsuits to proceed even when the employer proved a legitimate reason for an action and proven that action would have been taken regardless of gender.

This story was updated at 16:39 p.m.