Utah Governor Gary Herbert has said he is against a proposed Salt Lake City gay protections bill.

Herbert told reporters he does not believe being gay should be a protected class in the way that race, gender and religion are, the AP reported.

“We don't have to have a rule for everyone to do the right thing. We ought to just do the right thing because it's the right thing to do and we don't have to have a law that punishes us if we don't,” Herbert said Thursday during his first monthly KUED news conference.

Herbert, who was lieutenant governor, ascended to governor two weeks ago after President Obama tapped Governor Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China. Huntsman backed a failed effort last year to extend some rights to gay men and lesbians in the state.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is backing a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (transgender protections) in the areas of employment, public accommodations and housing. A public discussion draft of the proposal is being circulated and the mayor is expected to introduce a final bill to the City Council in mid-September.

Conservative State Senator Chris Buttars, a Republican from West Jordan, has said he would block the bill.

“I don't think the discrimination they scream about is really real,” Buttars told Salt Lake City-based KCPW radio on Monday. “I'm watching that to see what they try to do, and if they keep pushing it, then I will bring a bill about it.”

Becker said a July report by the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission that said discrimination in the city remains a problem prompted him to act.

The measure has yet to be finalized and Herbert told reporters that he would reserve judgment until he's had a chance to read it. But when asked if he believed gay people should be protected, he said, “No.”

“Where are you going to stop? I mean that's the problem going down that slippery road. Pretty soon we're going to have a special law for blue-eyed blondes … or people who are losing their hair a little bit,” Herbert, a Republican, said. “There's some support for about anything we put out there. I'm just saying we end up getting bogged down sometimes with the minutiae of things that government has really no role to be involved in.”