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Bill bans protests at people's homes in Utah

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Posted at 11:31 AM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 13:33:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY  — A new bill introduced in the Utah State Legislature would ban protests outside homes.

House Bill 291, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, prohibits any picketing outside a private residence. It does allow for protests at public buildings or "assembly area commonly used to discuss subjects of general public interest" or even demonstrations that go through a neighborhood.

The bill appears to be in response to protests last year outside the homes of state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, former health department director Dr. Joseph Miner and former Governor Gary Herbert. Anti-mask activists angry over COVID-19 restrictions targeted their homes.

In response to those protests, some cities passed ordinances to prohibit protests outside someone's home. Rep. Wilcox's bill makes it statewide. Violations would be a class B misdemeanor.