Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican, is calling for a proposed executive order protecting LGBT workers to include religious protections.

President Barack Obama has reportedly agreed to sign the order, which would bar contractors doing business with the federal government from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

(Related: White House to issue gay workplace protections order.)

Hatch called for exemptions similar to those found in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which last year cleared the Senate with Hatch's support but has run aground in the House, where House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, has called the legislation “unnecessary.” ENDA would prohibit public and private employers, not just those doing business with the federal government, from discriminating against LGBT workers.

“While the specifics of this executive order are not yet clear, I believe it must include the same religious protections that are included in the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed the Senate,” Hatch told gay weekly the Washington Blade. “ENDA strikes a good balance to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation will not be tolerated, but also that one of our nation’s fundamental freedoms – religious freedom – is still upheld. The same must be said for any Obama Administration initiative on this issue.”

(Related: Orrin Hatch: Gay marriage is going to be law of the land.)