A Pennsylvania state representative has reintroduced a bill which seeks to recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil unions in the state.

Rep. Mark Cohen, a Democrat from Philadelphia, reintroduced his proposal last week. House Bill 708 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

“Civil unions represent the middle-of-the-road compromise position between constitutionally banning and permitting gay marriage and have been embraced by both advocates for LGBT rights and a growing number of conservatives,” Cohen told The Patriot-News.

“Nothing in this bill would require any religious or any clergyman to perform any ceremony uniting people in a civil union. This legislation will merely offer committed gay couples the same legal rights that are bestowed upon married people without the status of marriage,” he added.

Cohen previously introduced civil unions legislation in 2010 and again last year.

“I intend to keep advocating this because I believe in the obvious fact that gays have rights to fundamental rights, and marriage is a fundamental right,” he said.

Six states currently offer the union: Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware. Lawmakers in Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware are considering moving to marriage. Colorado's law takes effect next month. New Jersey lawmakers approved a marriage law only to have it vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. Advocates hope to override Christie's veto.