Two Republicans will sponsor gay rights bills next year in the Utah Legislature, the Deseret News reported.

Leaders of the gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans say they have secured two GOP lawmakers to sponsor a pair of gay rights bills next year.

The announcement comes on the heels of Utah's first gay rights law. Last week, Salt Lake City leaders unanimously voted in favor of outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment and housing.

A last-minute endorsement by the Mormon Church surprised and delighted gay activists.

Last year, after the church supported Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative that banned gay marriage in California, the church released a statement saying it supports gay rights that do not “infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.”

Gay rights advocates in Utah took the church to mean it would not oppose a collection of proposed gay rights bills in the Legislature. But the church's silence on the bills, including one that would have enacted similar protections, doomed them.

Gay activists believe that the church's endorsement of the Salt Lake City ordinance is a game changer.

“This next legislative session is going to be much conductive to conservation and finding solutions,” Melvin Nimer, president of Utah Log Cabin Republicans, told the paper.

The bills will focus on adoption rights and a gay protections law modeled after the just-passed Salt Lake City ordinance, the group said, adding that it would announce which Republicans would carry the legislation later this week.