The Montana House on Tuesday approved a bill that would repeal a gay protections law in Missoula, the state's second largest city.

Republican Representative Kristin Hansen's bill cleared a key House panel on Monday.

If approved, the measure would effectively overturn Missoula's 2010 ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender protections) by prohibiting local governments from enacting protections beyond those in the state's Human Rights Act, which does not include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sixty GOP members united to approve the bill. Seven Republican members crossed the aisle to join all 32 Democrats in opposing its passage, the Missoulian reported.

The bill faces a final House vote before heading to the Senate.

Harris Himes of the Montana Eagle Forum told lawmakers that he opposed Missoula's ordinance for “religious reasons,” the Billings Gazette reported.

“It is God himself who says that homosexuality is an abomination, and he has various punishments for that, too,” said Himes, a pastor at Big Sky Christian Center in Hamilton. When asked for an example, Himes quoted Leviticus saying that gay people “surely shall be put to death.”

Other opponents railed against the law's protections for transgender people, suggesting that the law placed women and children in danger.

“This law in Missoula means that a person with a penis can now go into the showers where the people with vaginas have gone,” Dallas Erickson of Montana Citizens for Decency through Law said.