Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kissing in Utah

IS there a new sensitivity afoot? There seem to be a lot of gay folks getting arrested for exchanging a kiss.Most recently, a gay couple was arrested for kissing in front of the LDS temple. The plaza they were walking through was ceded by Salt Lake City to the LDS church, so it is private property.

According to the AP, the men say they simply kissed. The Mormon security guards claim much more: officials contend their behavior was lewd.

"There was much more involved that a simple kiss of the cheek," Farah said in a statement Friday. "They engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol."
Hmmm, this reminds me of the Fort Worth assault, where the police said that there was lewd behavior and groping that provoked them to slam a man into a wall, while the witnesses say there was no such thing. Because of course, you know those gay people can't keep from having sex in the streets, and "gay panic" is still an excuse. However
The men have said they were walking home from a nearby concert and cutting through the plaza on their way home.

A police report said they sat down for a kiss and were approached by a pair of church security guards, who asked them to leave because their behavior was "unwanted."Both were handcuffed and Aune was pinned to the ground.
THat doesn't sound like sex in the streets to me.

Of course on private property, the LDS has the right to regulate behavior. Even if it is a double standard that allows displays of affection between straight couples but not gay. However, throwing them to the ground seems a bit much.

So there was a kiss-in to protest, which predictably brought the counter-protesters out.
[A]bout 100 people gathered to stage a "kiss-in" to protest the treatment of two gay men cited for trespassing July 9 after they shared a kiss on the plaza owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both gay and straight couples exchanged kisses during the protest.

Demonstrators were greeted at the south entrance by a group of protesters carrying large signs that denounced homosexuality, prompting a heated verbal exchange.

Police say no one was arrested or cited, despite a large group exchanging kisses by a reflecting pool at the plaza's center.
With the eyes of the world on them, they decided not to throw them to the ground for en masse handcuffing and arrest. Good choice.

REmember, Utah is actually moving backwards on gay rights. Yay, Mormons.


So look for a kiss-in opportunity near you: GLBT and straight allies, all are welcome to pucker up.

Update San Diego had a kiss in at the Mormon temple on Weds.

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