Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has delayed introduction in the House of his Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections.)

At a Wednesday morning news conference where the bill's introduction was expected to be announced, Frank instead told attendees that he's not ready to introduce the measure he has carried in the House for decades.

Harry Gural, a spokesperson for the congressman, told gay weekly The Washington Blade that Frank was looking for greater support before going forward.

“It was announced but not formally introduced – the bill has not been 'dropped,'” Gural said. “Before it is formally introduced, we are still collecting cosponsors.”

On Tuesday, Frank's office released a statement saying he would introduce the bill on Wednesday. A number of gay rights groups – including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – followed suit, issuing statements congratulating Frank on the bill's introduction.

“Their plan may have been to introduce it today,” said HRC's Fred Sainz, “but the congressman may have made a very good decision to wait until there are more co-sponsors that have signed on, and I think that if that's his judgment, then we would concur with his judgment.”

Frank concedes that ENDA isn't likely to win approval in a Republican-controlled House.

“This is a chance to continue – not begin, but continue – a lobbying effort that I am convinced will be successful, frankly, next time the Democrats take back the House of Representatives,” Frank said.