SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A stand-off at the Utah State Capitol building Monday ended with LGBT protesters under arrest.
They demanded a hearing on SB100, an anti-discrimination bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and employment.
Around a dozen activists had their hands placed behind their backs and zip-tied after blocking a committee hearing.
“People have to show up to make a change,” said Gail Murdock, a protester.
They protesters argue they've been trying to get the anti-discrimination bill heard on Capitol Hill for years and refusal by senate leaders last week to take up the bill forced them to take measures into their own hands.
The protesters first barricaded Gov. Gary Herbert's office.
“We're hear to represent the 72 percent of the Utah population that is not being heard when the legislature decided to block the SB 100 bills,” said Michelle Turpin, protester. “We're hearing saying if you're going to block us from being heard we are going to block you out of your office.”
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-Washington, tried to negotiate with the protesters asking them to walk away and instead agree to a town hall meeting with senate leaders.
“Help me educate my colleagues, give me time to do that,” said Sen. Urquhart. “I thought we had things in a good place. The Shelby decision, it was surprising to us, it was surprising to every one.”
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Salt Lake City, wants to wait to take up the anti-discrimination bill after the court decides the future of same-sex marriage in Utah.
“We don't know the environment that we are going to be addressing these long-term issues in this state until we have our appeal adjudicated through the appeals process,” said Pres. Niederhauser.
The protest reached a boiling point when the activists decided to move locations and block a committee hearing.
The Utah Department of Public Safety oversees security at the capitol. DPS Spokesman Dwayne Baird said a total of 13 people were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, and disruption of a public meeting, a class B misdemeanor.
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