RELIGION

Utah's Republican-controlled Legislature passes Mormon-church-backed anti-discrimination bill

Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, leaves a House committee hearing Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Salt Lake City. An anti-discrimination bill protecting LGBT Utah residents and religious rights awaits a final vote by lawmakers. The bill was approved on Tuesday afternoon. It was originally scheduled for Monday, but postponed by the House Judiciary Committee after an hour-long hearing so that they could hear more comments from the public. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, leaves a House committee hearing Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Salt Lake City. An anti-discrimination bill protecting LGBT Utah residents and religious rights awaits a final vote by lawmakers. The bill was approved on Tuesday afternoon. It was originally scheduled for Monday, but postponed by the House Judiciary Committee after an hour-long hearing so that they could hear more comments from the public. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  (The Associated Press)

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.

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.