By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A bill that would provide protection to members of the LGBT community in housing and employment cleared a Senate committee Wednesday.

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The state Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee approved a bill that would add sexual orientation, gender identity or expression to the list of things for which discrimination in housing and employment is prohibited.

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Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, says legislation like this made it through a state House committee several years ago, but this time, it appears the bill has legs.

“I think that there is more momentum. I think that the world has changed. I think legislators are looking at this issue much more seriously and more fully. And I think that they’ve learned the LGBT community in many ways, because people have gotten to know folks, they’ve talked to people. And I think that’s all important.”

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Martin says he’s optimistic for passage of the bill in the full Senate but a spokeswoman for the majority leader says it’s unclear if a vote will be taken before lawmakers’ scheduled summer recess.