Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gays. Straights, Hold Kiss-In at Mormon Temple

Less than two weeks after a gay couple was arrested for kissing at the plaza next to the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, a mass kissing protest near the Mormon church temple Sunday grew into a shouting match between gay activists and a group of Mormons.

The protest involved not just gay couples, but straight couples as well. This is the second consecutive weekend in which about 100 people gathered to stage a "kiss-in" to protest the treatment of two gay men cited for trespassing July 8th 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.

A mass-kissing protest near the Mormon church temple Sunday drew a shouting match between gay activists and a group of faithful Mormons. This is the second consecutive weekend that about 100 people gathered to stage a "kiss-in" in protest of the treatment of Matt Aune and his partner, Derek Jones, who were cited for trespassing on July 9 after they shared a kiss on the plaza owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

No one was arrested or cited, despite a large group exchanging kisses by a reflecting pool at the plaza's center, and a large group of Mormons holding signs deprecating homosexuality and shouting between the two groups.

The plaza was built in the 1990s alongside the Temple. While Matt Aune say he and his partner, Derek Jones, exchanged a modest kiss at the plaza 11 days ago, church officials deny that assertion.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement issued Friday:

"There was much more involved that a simple kiss of the cheek. They engaged in passionate kissing, groping, profane and lewd language, and had obviously been using alcohol."

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that some Mormon church members appeared in support of the protest:
LDS Church members in support of the protest, and troubled by their church's support last fall for California's Proposition 8, also made a showing. One handed out fliers promoting an online petition for "reconciliation" between the church and gay and lesbian community. Another, 25-year-old Brigham Young University graduate, Kate Savage, attended with her boyfriend, Tristan Call.

"It's as if the doctrine of the importance of families we're taught is used to destroy other people's families, and we don't understand that," Savage said.
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1 comment:

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The plaza was built in the 1990s alongside the Temple. While Matt Aune say he and his partner, Derek Jones, exchanged a modest kiss at the plaza 11 days ago, church officials deny that assertion.