Utah police arrest 13 after gay rights sit-in

Utah temporarily became the eighteenth state to legalize gay marriage after a federal judge ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.
Posted By Aileen Graef  |  Feb. 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Utah police arrested 13 people Monday after they staged a sit-in at the state Capitol in an effort to convince lawmakers to hear a bill outlawing employment and housing discrimination against gay people.

The anti-discrimination bill has been struck down six times in the last five years. The demonstrators are trying to reach the president of the state Senate, Wayne Niederhauser, who has the power to give the bill a hearing. However Niederhauser said that they will not consider any LGBT related bill until the state Senate settles the legal battle over the same-sex marriage ban.

Utah's government has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court over the ban but 1,400 legal marriages had already taken place. Sen. Steve Urquhart, R-St. George's, said, "I support political involvement. I mean here this is a peaceful demonstration. Let me make sure it stays peaceful."

The protesters were arrested on "suspicion of disorderly conduct" and "disturbing a public meeting." Both are misdemeanors and the demonstrators were released a few hours later.


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