RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nearly a dozen people were arrested in North Carolina’s Legislative Building during a second swell of demonstrations led by civic and religious leaders opposing the state’s law limiting protections for LGBT people.
Police arrested 11 protesters late Monday afternoon after authorities say they burst into the office of the House clerk demanding a meeting with a legislative leader to discuss the law, which also directs transgender people to use public bathrooms aligned with the sex on their birth certificate.
General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said those arrested would be charged with second-degree trespassing and violating building rules, which prohibit visitors from disturbing workers performing duties.
The protesters were among hundreds who participated in a rally led by the state NAACP on the Bicentennial Mall calling for a repeal of the bill and for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to withdraw his support.
Representatives from LGBT advocacy group Freedom Center for Social Justice, local synagogues and churches said the bill, which also prohibits cities from passing their own minimum wage increases and limits how people can sue for discrimination in state courts, targets protected classes like women and minorities.
“We will fight them in the courts, we’ll fight them in the ballot box, and we’ll put our bodies on the line to oppose one of the most underhanded, devious and unconstitutional pieces of discriminatory legislation ever passed in North Carolina history,” said Vicki Ryder, a member of the activist organization Raging Grannies.