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Protesters block Utah governor’s office in call for statewide LGBT protections

Monday, February 10, 2014
LGBT rights advocates  block the doors to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's main office on Monday.

LGBT rights advocates block the doors to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s main office on Monday.

SALT LAKE CITY — About 15 protesters are blocking the doors to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s main office on Monday to call for a statewide anti-discrimination law that protect sexual or gender orientation.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers, which provide Capitol security, stationed near the protesters and moved them aside to allow people to enter the office.

Organizer and Equality Utah volunteer Donna Weinholtz told The Salt Lake Tribune that demonstrators are asking Herbert to issue an executive order passing the anti-discrimination measure.

Troy Williams, who led the group of protesters, read a letter to the governor and Senate leaders, asking them to bring the measure up for consideration.

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“We believe all Utahns deserve equal rights,” said Williams. “We represent the 72 percent of people who live in this state who support a non-discrimination law. The Utah Legislature has repeatedly blocked the LGBT community from hearing this bill. We demand that Sen. President Wayne Niederhauser pull the bill and schedule it for a hearing and we demand that Gov. Herbert sign it into law.”

St. George Republican Sen. Steve Urquhart is sponsoring legislation (SB 100) this year that bars discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in housing and employment.

Urquhart says his bill appears dead this year as Republican leaders at the Legislature have decided to avoid bills that could impact the state’s gay marriage case.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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