BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Nearly two dozen gay-rights activists who were arrested after they blocked doorways in the Idaho Statehouse were sentenced Monday in Boise.
The 23 defendants took part in peaceful protests during the 2014 legislative session as part of an effort to convince lawmakers to add legal protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents in Idaho’s Human Rights Act.
Each protester was given a chance to offer a brief statement before being ordered to pay court costs based on how many times they were arrested.
At times, the courtroom became emotional after attorneys called two mothers who both had a child commit suicide after facing discrimination to speak.
Testifying for the state, Idaho State Police Major Steve Richardson said group’s peaceful demeanor helped the arrests go smoothly, but they still put a burden on the state’s limited staff and resources.