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The Utah Senate on Wednesday confirmed a retiring state lawmaker's appointment as a 4th District judge.

Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, was confirmed on a 25-0 vote during a special legislative session.

Advocates for Utah's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community initially sought to block Powell's nomination by Gov. Gary Herbert, citing a pair of 2016 bill proposals he sponsored that were seen as anti-gay.

The legislation proposed labeling same-sex unions "pairage" —¬†instead of marriage — and would have required the state to favor heterosexual married couples over same-sex couples in adoption. Both measures failed. Powell also amended the adoption bill before it was introduced after state attorneys raised constitutional concerns.

Powell apologized to the gay and transgender community during his Senate Confirmation Committee hearing on Monday, and said he never intended to make gay couples or families feel inferior.

"I'm truly sorry for the offense that I caused," Powell said. "I want the committee to know I am not anti-gay. I pledge to treat all people with fairness and with objectivity while serving as a judge."

Troy Williams, director of Equality Utah, commended Powell for his "journey" toward understanding the LGBT community and accepted the apology.

"I believe you when you say that you will rule impartially, without bias and without prejudice," Williams said.

Powell was first elected to the Utah House in 2008, but did not seek re-election this year.

He was nominated for the bench in October and will replace retiring Judge Claudia Laycock in the Provo-based judicial district.