You shouldn't be fired or denied employment because you drink alcohol or smoke in your off hours, a bare majority of senators decided Wednesday.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill sponsored by Sen. Craig Peterson, R-Orem, that would prohibit discrimination based on lawful practices by a person - such as drinking and smoking."There was a time in this state when (in interviewing for a job) you were asked what ward you belonged to, what church? I object to that," said Peterson, who added that federal anti-discrimination statutes prohibit inquiring about one's religion. But equally offensive questions are being asked today about personal habits - drinking, smoking or one's personal lifestyle.

The bill passed 15-13, a bare majority, with some senators saying they - as business owners - are affected by how their employees act in off hours, and so they have an interest in those activities.