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Charges Filed Against LGBT Rights Protesters Who Blocked Utah Legislative Hearing

The protestors demanded that state legislators consider a statewide bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment and housing. The bill later died in a closed door meeting.

A marriage equality supporter holds a rainbow pride flag outside the Utah State Capitol Jan. 28, 2014. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Over six months after LGBT rights protesters blocked a legislative hearing at the Utah State Capitol, prosecutors on Wednesday filed charges against 13 people involved in the demonstration, ABC 4 Utah reported.

The protestors blocked a doorway at the capitol Feb. 10, demanding legislators take up a state a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment and housing — Senate Bill 100. Authorities asked the protestors to leave, but they refused and were arrested. The bill later died in a closed door meeting, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The 13 demonstrators face charges including disrupting a public meeting and suspicion of disorderly conduct, according to the reports. They plan to announce their charges and how they plan to plea in court on the steps of the Utah State Capitol Thursday morning, according to a post on Twitter by Troy Williams, one of the ‘Capitol 13.’

Williams told the paper that state legislators left them “with no choice” but to protest at the capitol to demand the bill be heard. “Utah legislators have subverted the democratic process,” he said, according to the Tribune. “Even though a statewide nondiscrimination bill for gay and transgender Utahns has widespread public support, our legislators have, year after year, blocked our bills from floor debate.”

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