SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A landmark Utah proposal protecting gay and transgender individuals has passed its test at the state Legislature.
A Republican-controlled state Senate committee voted unanimously Thursday morning to support the bill, sending it to the full Senate for a vote.
The bill, which has earned the rare stamp of approval from the Utah-based Mormon church, bars discrimination against gay and transgender individuals while protecting the rights of religious groups and individuals.
Lawmakers became emotional during the two hour hearing as gay and transgender residents and religious and conservative groups spoke for and against the measure.
Several conservative senators supporting the bill say it provides equally strong protections for LGBT people as it does for the religious.