- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on a Utah plan that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against patrons based on their sexual orientation, no matter what their religious belief (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A bill that would have made it illegal for businesses to refuse to serve gay or transgender people for religious reasons will not pass this year.

Bill sponsor Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis of Salt Lake City says he doesn’t want to distract from a pending hate crime proposal which would add protections for gay and transgender people.

Utah residents are currently protected in public businesses from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, ancestry or national origin. This plan would have added sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to that list.

Dabakis, the Utah Legislature’s only openly gay lawmaker, introduced the proposal last week. He says he is pleased the proposal was considered, even for just a short amount of time.

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3:25 p.m.

Utah lawmakers will consider a longshot bill that would make it illegal for businesses to refuse to serve gay or transgender people for religious reasons.

Bill sponsor Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis of Salt Lake City says the plan’s chances are dim, but the issue needs to be brought up. The Utah legislature’s only openly gay lawmaker introduced a similar proposal last year that failed.

Critics worry that the plan would force residents to choose between making a living and their religious convictions.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says this proposal would put Utah in line with 22 other U.S. states that have public accommodation laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Utah residents are currently protected from discrimination in public businesses based on race, color, sex, religion, ancestry or national origin.

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