State Representive Cohen has introduced a measure that would expand existing law to recognize civil unions. HB708 has several familiar cosponsors, including Dan Frankel, Jake Wheatley, Chelsa Wagner, Dom Costa, Paul Costa, Mark Gergely. 41 sponsors in total. This legislation has been referred to the Judiciary Committee as of February 12, 2011. Several cosponsors sit in the Judiciary Committee.
State Senator Daylin Leach introduced a similarly timed bill to extend marriage to same sex couples. SB 461 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 9, 2011. More on why Senator is ardent on this issue.
In addition, State Representative Josh Shapiro is poised to introduce legislation which would amend the Hate Crimes statute to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
Also, Representative Dan Frankel from right here in Pittsburgh plans to reintroduce legislation that expands protected class to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This would provide protectsion in housing, public accomadation and in the workplace.
Interesting situation to have 4 critical pieces of legislation in a state controlled by Republicans. I'm sure there's a strategy. I'll keep you informed on any momentum these pick up as well as the potential reintroduction of marriage discrimination legislation to put a DOMA referendum before the voters.