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Dems turn up the heat on guv to back nondiscrimination, marriage equality bills

In an attempt to turn up the heat on Governor Tom Corbett, three local democratic state senators used a news conference yesterday to tout legislation for same-sex marriage while courting democratic voters in advance of the May primary.

State senators Larry Farnese, Michael Stack and Daylin Leach gathered in City Hall today to push for the passage of two bills – one would legalize gay marriage and the other would create special protections for members of the LGBT community seeking housing and employment opportunities.

While urging the governor to back both bills, the senators said even the recent announcement of Corbett's support of a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity was "a step in the right direction."

"I'm confident, today, that we have the votes, right now in the state senate, both Republican and Democrat, to get this bill out," said Farnese.

Stack applauded the governor for coming out in support of the nondiscrimination bill, but said that it wasn't enough.

"We want to propose some new year's resolutions to Gov. Corbett," he said. "We're calling on the governor to put his money where his mouth is by actively lobbying the speaker of the house the president of the senate and his fellow party members to call our anti-discrimination and marriage equality bills to an actual vote."

The press conference in the mayor's reception room also served as a good opportunity to gain exposure and TV air time, as two of the men are seeking higher offices in the New Year. Leach is fundraising for a congressional seat in the 13th district and Stack is hoping for the nomination for Lieutenant Governor.