Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank on Wednesday reintroduced his Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the House.

ENDA would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections).

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights advocate, said the bill would help America's economic recovery.

“All Americans worry about their economic future, but LGBT Americans' anxieties are exacerbated when they can be fired for no other reason than their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Solomonese said in a statement. “Passing ENDA is a key element of making sure all Americans can get back to work and get our country moving again.”

Michael Silverman, executive director of the transgender rights group Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), said the bill's protections for transgender people couldn't be overstated.

“We urgently need ENDA in these difficult economic times to make sure that qualified, hardworking transgender Americans can get jobs to support themselves and their families,” he said. “Transgender people deserve the same protections from employment discrimination that everyone else receives. What matters is not who you are, but how well you do your job.”

According to figures released by TLDEF, 47% of transgender people report they have faced discrimination in the workplace.

While 21 states and the District of Columbia have banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, only 12 states and the District of Columbia include gender identity in their laws.

In a candid interview with gay weekly Metro Weekly, the 70-year-old openly gay Frank conceded ENDA isn't likely to gain much traction so long as there is a Republican majority in the House.

“Obviously, with the Republicans in power, you're not going to get the bill even considered,” Frank said.

“This is an organizing effort. I'm going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where we're not certain they're still with us on the transgender issue. So, that's what – having a bill before you makes it easier to organize people to do that.”