RELIGION

Mormon church backs Utah LGBT anti-discrimination bill that also protects religious rights

  • In this Jan. 27, 2015, photo, Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, right, speaks to reporters while Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, left, listens during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, will unveil a compromise bill that protects LGBT individuals against discrimination in housing and employment while also protecting religious rights. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    In this Jan. 27, 2015, photo, Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, right, speaks to reporters while Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, left, listens during a news conference at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, will unveil a compromise bill that protects LGBT individuals against discrimination in housing and employment while also protecting religious rights. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Monday, March 2, 2015, photo, Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, left, and Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, talk on the senate floor, at the Utah state Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers on Wednesday will unveil a compromise bill that protects LGBT individuals against discrimination in housing and employment while also protecting religious rights. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    In this Monday, March 2, 2015, photo, Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, left, and Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, talk on the senate floor, at the Utah state Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers on Wednesday will unveil a compromise bill that protects LGBT individuals against discrimination in housing and employment while also protecting religious rights. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

The Mormon church says it supports a landmark bill unveiled Wednesday by Utah lawmakers that protects LGBT people from discrimination while also carving out protections for the Boy Scouts of America and religious groups.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says in a statement that legislators wisely struck a balance between protecting LGBT rights and people who hold deeply held religious beliefs.

Several high-ranking church officials are expected to talk at a news conference at the state Capitol alongside Utah senators and LGBT-rights activists.

The activists have spent years pushing for a statewide non-discrimination law in Utah, but their efforts were fast-tracked this year after the Mormon church issued a nationwide call for laws that balance both religious rights and LGBT protections.