Lawmakers in Utah have agreed to a compromise that puts gay rights legislation – both for and against – on the back burner for a year, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Under the plan announced Friday, Democrats agreed to drop three previously publicized pro-gay bills in exchange for a promise from opponents not to attempt to prevent local governments from approving measures that outlaw employment and housing discrimination during the current legislative session.

Lawmakers who favor gay rights said the compromise would protect the state's first such law enacted late last year in Salt Lake City.

Representative Christine Johnson, who is openly lesbian, called the plan a “thoughtful and respectful compromise, bringing together Democrats and Republicans, Mormons and non-Mormons, gay and straight.”

Instead of sponsoring a similar statewide bill, Johnson will introduce one that calls for a study on the issue. Working with the Utah Labor Commission, a legislative committee would be required to issue a report no later than November 30.

Democrats also agreed to shelve plans for two additional bills. One bill, sponsored by Senator Ben McAdams of Salt Lake City, sought to enable gay partners to sue in the event of a wrongful death. And a bill dealing with adoption has also been set aside.

“That's not an easy pill for us,” McAdams said. “It's my hope that we will shift from a discussion of things we disagree about to a discussion of things that we agree on.”

Last year, five pro-gay bills – including a non-discrimination measure – died inside of committee. Johnson said she suspected a similar fate awaited bills introduced during an election year.

Equality Utah, the state's largest gay rights advocate, said it supported the compromise.

“We'll have good data and a much better chance of passing meaningful legislation [in 2011],” Brandie Balken, executive director of the group, said. “While I personally would very much wish for things to move more quickly, I respect this process.”