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The effort to ban LGBT discrimination made its way back to the state legislature this week, under a new moniker.

The newly named Pennsylvania Fairness Act was introduced in both the House and Senate on Wednesday. The long-stalled legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to prohibit LGBT discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-23rd Dist.) is again spearheading the House version, with Sen. Tom KIllion (R-168th Dist.), and Sens. Larry Farnese (D-First Dist.) and Pat Browne (R-16th Dist.) are taking up the Senate bill.

The House version has 83 cosponsors, including 12 Republicans, and the Senate version has 25, including six Republicans.

The legislation was last introduced in May 2013 with 77 House cosponsors and 25 Senate cosponsors, including nine Republicans overall. The House version ultimately peaked at 97 cosponsors, a number that Frankel spokesperson Gabe Spece acknowledged could be hard to reach this time around.

“Given the makeup of the House, it’ll be a challenge to get to that high point,” he said. “I think we have more votes for it, it’s just a matter of whether people want to put their name on it right now. We and advocacy groups have conversations with members, trying to whip votes, and we see a lot who are willing to support the bill — the numbers are good — they just aren’t ready to put their name on it as a cosponsor.”

Spece said Frankel is working closely with Killion to rally Republican support in the House.

"[Frankel] is happy with the numbers we have. He’s now going to turn to having conversations with some of his colleagues who didn’t want to sign their name before it was introduced. That’s the next phase.”

Farnese told PGN he was pleased with the level of support his bill has seen as well.

“Having that bipartisan support right off the bat, especially from Sen. Browne, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, is really important,” he said. “I’m excited at the prospect of the bill finally making it across the goal line and finally eneding what is legalized discriminationin Pennsylvania.”

Spece said he was unsure which committee the legislation will be assigned to, a decision made by House Speaker Mike Turzai. In the past, the legislation has been assigned to the State Government Committee, chaired by virulently antigay Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-12th Dist.), who has repeatedly pledged to kill the bill.

Farnese said the legislation will ideally be sent to a different committee.

“I’m concerned that the ideology of one person has been such an obstacle to ending discrimination in our state,” he said. “Hopefully that won’t come into the mix and we will be able to look at this from a broad perspective on what this means to all Pennsylvanians.”

Farnese added that more than 400 small businesses have already signed on to a petition advocating for the legislation, and that nearly 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual-orientation protection, and 69 percent include gender-identity protections.

All 23 Fortune 500 companies in Pennsylvania ban LGBT discrimination.

Browne added that "promoting inclusion and eliminating discrimination fosters growth in Pennsylvania’s economy by ensuring that the Commonwealth is able to attract employees from a highly-skilled workforce and, in particular, appeal to members of the innovative millennial generation.”

The bills are listed as HB 1510 and SB 974, a departure from the previous HB and SB 300 numbers.

Pennsylvania is one of 29 states that has yet to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination law.

“Most people in Pennsylvania are shocked to learn that it is still legal to discriminate in Pennsylvania just because of who a person is or who a person loves,” said Equality Pennsylvania Ted Martin. “We applaud the bi-partisan co-prime sponsors of the PA Fairness Act who introduced bills today to update the discrimination laws of Pennsylvania to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.”