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

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.