UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. Feb. 3, 2014
A total of 44 protesters, including former Boise Democratic State Sen. Nicole LeFavour were arrested Monday morning, all cited with trespassing and released, following their demonstration where they blocked entrances to the Idaho Senate chambers through much of the morning.
After warning the protesters that they would be arrested at 10:30 a.m. if they didn't move, law enforcement led the protesters away from the Senate doors and handed out citations to the advocates who were attempting to once more plea with Idaho lawmakers to add the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Idaho's Human Rights Act, extending anti-discrimination protections to the LGBT community.
After 43 of her fellow protesters had been led away, LeFavour remained in the Senate chambers, due in large part to the fact that the Senate's rules allow former members to be on the Senate floor. But the Senate quickly suspended the rule, leaving LeFavour at the doorway to the Senate, but refusing to move.
Ultimately, State Police escorted LeFavour away from the Senate, handed her a citation for trespassing and then released her from custody.Idaho State Police finished processing the citations at approximately 1:00 p.m. and released the last of the protesters. The protesters arrested included three juveniles.
Under Idaho law, a citation for trespassing is a misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment of up to six (6) months, a fine not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both. The Idaho State Police were assisted by the Ada County Sheriff's Office and the Boise Police Department.
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. Feb. 3, 2014
UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. Feb. 3, 2014
Idaho State Police have begun arresting protesters who had been standing outside of the Idaho State Senate Chambers at the Statehouse Monday morning. The advocates, dressed in black with T-shirts that read, "Add the 4 Words Idaho," stood shoulder to shoulder outside of the chamber.
Idaho State Police had threatened arrests if the protesters didn't move, and indeed, law enforcement began taking close to two dozen individuals into custody.
Boise Weekly's Harrison Berry has been on the scene all morning and filed the attached images and the above videos.
UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. Feb 3, 2014
Traditionally, one Idaho State Police vehicle is parked outside of the Idaho Statehouse. This morning, there are a string of ISP vehicles lining the front of the Capitol.
One of the protesters outside of the Idaho Senate Chambers Monday morning is Meredith Butts.
"I have friends that this affects," Butts told BW, adding that she doesn't "want children to grow up in a world where one can be fired or lose their home because of gender identity or sex orientation."
ORIGINAL POST: 9 a.m., Feb. 3, 2014
Today promises to include a fair amount of tense moments at the Idaho Statehouse, with law enforcement officials already promising that arrests will be made if protesters continue to block the entrance to the Idaho Senate Chambers.
Nearly four dozen activists, each wearing a black T-shirt with the words "Add The 4 Words Idaho," began standing in front of the third-floor chambers before sunrise. They are also holding their hands over their mouths.
In particular, the group represents growing frustration over the Idaho Legislature's continued refusal to consider adding the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Idaho's Human Rights Act, extending protections to Idaho's LGBT community.
“Gay and transgender Idahoans have tried every means to get the Legislature to consider the ‘Add the Words’ legislation," wrote the group in an early morning news release. "If the Legislature again chooses to ignore us and not hear or vote on the bill, we are prepared to peacefully remain here to bring attention to the issue and the Legislature’s failure to protect those in our community from harm.”
But Idaho State Police officers, who patrol the Capitol, have already threatened arrests if the protesters are still blocking the Senate entrance by 10:30 this morning.