SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says any state legislation protecting gay rights must also protect religious liberties.

Herbert made the remarks in his annual State of the State address Wednesday night, a day after the Mormon church made a national appeal for a similar balance between anti-discrimination proposals and legal protections for those who object.

The church's announcement made huge waves in Utah, where the governor and most lawmakers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Several bills addressing gay rights and religious rights are pending in the Utah Legislature this year. Legislative leaders say they may be combined.

The Republican governor says he's confident the state's elected officials can work together with religious groups and the LGBT community to find a policy that treats all people with dignity and respect.