Utah House Passes Anti-Discrimination Bill Backed by Mormon Church

Image: Stuart Adams, LaVar Christensen
Sen. Stuart Adams, left, R-Layton, shakes hands with Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, after a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Salt Lake City. A Utah House of Representatives committee has approved a bill that allows county clerks to refuse to marry same-sex couples for religious reasons. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Rick Bowmer / AP

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Utah's Republican-controlled Legislature has passed a landmark anti-discrimination bill that protects gay and transgender people, and religious rights.

The proposal earned a rare stamp of approval from the Utah-based Mormon church, and the state House voted 65-10 Wednesday night to pass it.

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The Senate passed the bill Friday, and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has said he'll sign it.

The bill was unveiled last week after lawmakers spent weeks negotiating with LGBT advocates, representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others.

Conservative critics of the bill have argued that it doesn't go far enough to protect religious rights, such as an individual's right to refuse service to a gay couple. They also say it creates special protections for gay and transgender people.


— The Associated Press