Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a
Republican, will sign an anti-discrimination bill that protects LGBT
Utahans and religious rights.
Herbert will sign the bill into law
during a special state Capitol ceremony at 6 PM on Thursday.
The Republican-controlled House
approved the proposal late Wednesday, less than a week after it
cleared the Senate.
The bill prohibits discrimination based
on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and housing.
Exempt from the law are religious organizations and their affiliates
such as schools and hospitals. Also exempt is the Boy Scouts of
America, which ended its policy banning openly gay scouts last year,
though gays over 18 are not allowed to participate in the program.
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) backed passage of the measure.
A bill that allows county clerks to
refuse to marry gay couples based on their faith also cleared the
Utah House on Wednesday. The bill also requires that county clerk's
offices designate a person who will marry gay couples, if the clerk
Herbert vigorously defended the state's
ban on gay marriage all the way up to the Supreme Court, which
refused to review a federal appeals court's ruling striking down the