State police arrest Add the Words activists for blocking Senate

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Idaho State Troopers arrested dozens of Add the Words protestors at the Idaho Statehouse Monday morning.

Add the Word demonstrators began blocking the entrance Monday morning, covering their mouths in a silent protest. Troopers led the protestors away five at a time from the chambers without handcuffs in a room away from the senate entrance.

Forty four protestors were eventually cited with trespassing and told not to return today.

The group is demanding the Idaho legislature to add four words including "sexual orientation and gender identity" to Idaho law, banning discrimination against gay and transgender residents in employment, housing and other business services.

"We have people who are bashed in alleyways, who commit suicide, who despair, who lose their jobs, their apartments, and this body, this Senate, this legislature, has never said that's wrong," said demonstrator Nicole LeFavour, a former state senator and the first openly gay member of the legislature.

Sen. Bart Davis (R-Idaho Falls) said he doesn't agree with group's approach.

"I don't think this is the best method to get their message across," Davis said.

Organizers say the demonstrators are doing the "act of civil disobedience" because lawmakers have failed to add the words for eight years.

The activists were cited for misdemeanor trespass and released without bond.

Idaho State Police says each protestor faces up to six months in prison and a fine between $25 and $1,000.