A group of 13 demonstrators were arrested Monday at the Utah Capitol as they blocked the entrance as part of a protest supporting a bill that would ban employment and housing discrimination against LGBT individuals, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
Last week, state Senate Republicans voted not to consider the bill, SB 100, during this legislative session.
According to the Tribune, the activists were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and for disturbing a public meeting. They spent hours at the Capitol prior to their arrest attempting to get Senate President Wayne Niederhauser (R) to promise the bill would be heard.
Last Monday, Niederhauser apologized and blamed an intern after his Twitter account posted a joke about “gender identity” that referenced SB 100.
Sen. Steve Urquhart (R), who sponsored the bill, reportedly attempted to broker a deal with the protesters and offered them a town hall meeting on the topic next week or a closed-door discussion with Niederhauser. Sen. Jim Dabakis (D) spoke with the demonstrators and told them the bill was “back on the table” as a result of their efforts.
“The powers that be are just going to have to recognize that gay people are not just going to go back in the closet and be quiet anymore,” Dabakis said.