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Idaho LGBT Activists Praised by Judge, Ordered To Pay Court Costs


Twenty-three LGBT rights activists who were arrested earlier this year at the Idaho state capitol for blocking entrances to the statehouse have been sentenced, The AP reports:

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.

The demonstration was meant to persuade legislators to amend Idaho’s Human Rights Act to include protections for LGBT Idahoans. The protesters wore shirts that read, “Add the 4 words Idaho,” referring to the terms “gender identity" and "sexual orientation” they sought to be added to the human rights act.

The protest cost the Idaho State Police approximately $24,000 according to Major Richardson.  

The presiding judge respected the protesters for how they conducted themselves but also called upon them to accept the ‘consequences’ of their protest:

District Judge Michael Oths said he appreciated the group's approach in its multiple protests. He added, however, that America's history of civil disobedience has involved accepting consequences for breaking the law.

"You put your name on the line, and it's not easy to do that," Oths said. "I think people have been responsible in their approach."

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  1. Pathetic that a Republican "law and order" state can't pay for their own police out of govt funds.

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 22, 2014 10:00:27 PM

  2. Limited resources?......Are they kidding?...

    Does Ellen Know???.....

    Posted by: styler | Jul 23, 2014 1:09:00 AM

  3. @DAVID R. - I'm not saying it's right, but a few years ago, the NYT reported that no less than 26 states have some form of "cost recovery" policy in place for certain fire and police services. There could be more by now. I imagine something like this where people were asked to disperse and didn't and then had to be bussed to jail is seen as a cost that could have been avoided, so one that should be recoverable by law enforcement. (jmho) You should see the list of things the fire department in my county (in California) charges for. It's pretty long and $teep.

    Posted by: Lexis | Jul 23, 2014 5:01:05 AM

  4. Court costs go to the courts. Period. The costs to the various police units are not covered by this. If the judge wanted to reemburse the state for the police services he would have fined them for that and not called it court costs.

    Posted by: Liam | Jul 23, 2014 9:28:49 AM

  5. Seems to me that Idaho can find the money to fight marriage equality but cannot cover the relatively minor cost of the state police. The Idahoan bigots sure have the priorities askew. But it's okay because the church will educate your children and everything will be fine.

    Posted by: TB | Jul 23, 2014 11:50:58 AM

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