The Wyoming Senate on Thursday rejected a bill which sought to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 13-15 against the measure.

Democratic Senator Chris Rothfuss, the bill's champion in the chamber, said the bill's purpose was to prevent discrimination.

Opponents warned that if approved the measure would impinge on religious freedoms.

Earlier in the week, the Wyoming House rejected a bill which sough to recognize the relationships of gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships and a House committee killed a proposal which sough to legalize gay marriage in Wyoming.

Despite the defeats, gay rights activists cheered the gains they made.

“This year, rather than playing defense we played offense and made historic progress,” Wyoming Equality Chair Jeran Artery said in a statement. “To witness the advancement we made this year is tremendous. In the most Republican Legislature in the Nation, we passed both bills through committee with strong bipartisan support, demonstrating that equality is not a partisan issue. While heartbroken by the defeat of the bills, the fact that they passed committee and reached a floor vote is a giant step forward on the road to equality.”