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Throw the Book (of Mormon) at Them

Timothy Kincaid

July 10th, 2009
Get fit in Salt Lake... unless you're gay.

Get fit in Salt Lake... unless you"re gay

It seems that the police in Texas are inspiring the Salt Lake Police Force. The story involves a couple walking along what used to be a public street.

In 1999 the City sold a block of Main Street to the Church. Because all public policy statements and documents emphasized the need for pedestrian traffic on this downtown grid, the City retained an easement for public passage and access. The Church placed restrictions on speech and behavior on the plaza.

Courts struck down these restrictions, so in 2003, the City of Salt Lake transferred the Main Street Plaza easement to the Mormon Church so as to facilitate their desire to eliminate criticism from that public thoroughfare. Now those that use this public thoroughfare are on private property. And gay people had better remember it. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Aune said the incident started when he and Jones were walking back to his Salt Lake City home from a Twilight Concert Series show at the Gallivan Center. The couple live just blocks away from the plaza in the Marmalade district of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The pair crossed the plaza holding hands, Aune said. About 20 feet from the edge of the plaza, Aune said he stopped, put his arm around Jones and kissed him on the cheek.

This kiss resulted in being thrown to the ground by security guards, hand-cuffed, and being issued trespassing citations when the police arrived. Oh, and they are banned from all church property for six months – including that which had previously been public streets owned by the taxpayers.

Now the Mormon Church will tell you that it doesn’t hate gay people. It loves them, but disapproves of their sin just as they would the sin of an adulterer or fornicator.

I don’t find that argument convincing.

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Burr
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Err why the hell did they sell that land to them?

I have to admit since it’s their property they can probably get away with it, but they shouldn’t have that space to begin with. The city should told them to suck it up and deal with the criticism from demonstrations on that street. The church should be the one that has to move somewhere else if they can’t stand the heat.

Gina9223
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Wow, so if I buy the street next to the church and grab all mormons and throw them down, cuff them and issue them trespassing citations I could get away with it?

um….. ok, I got a few hundred bucks, who’s in with me???? can I be the ‘security guard’? do I get to do full body cavitiy searches?

Can I? please?

Lindoro Almaviva
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Guys, what do you expect from a state that is run by the church? What needs to happen is for the church to lose their tax exempt status and let’s see what happens.

Problem is that there is no one who has the balls to do it.

Richard Rush
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Burr asked “Err why the hell did they sell that land to them?”

Because Utah is a de facto theocracy.

Scott P.
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

The LDS Church bought a major piece of Salt Lake City’s Main Street for just a few million dollar. I can’t imagine this happening in any other American city, including boston. Traffic , bus routes, pedestrian flow was all screwed up by this purchase. The street separated the church’s office buildings from the Salt Lake temple. I was in Salt Lake when this controversy first arose.

Originally the city maintained a right-of-way, but because some people dared to smoke on what was now considered church property (or to wear clothing not approved of) there was a deal made to trade church property (far from the downtown area and not really worth anything) in exchange for the right-of-way. Many felt the city was selling their Constitutional rights to placate the LDS Church’s sensibilities. The sale should never, NEVER have been allowed.

The Utah Legislature actually rewrote property law to exclude right-of-survivorship clauses, so that lesbians and gays would have to write wills and pay inheritance taxes to the state. It is also trying to some way, any way, to make our sexual relationships illegal.

I’m very glad to be out of there.

Richard W. Fitch
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Read the articles linked from this page. They are each very enlightening.
Yes, Utah is a de facto theocracy!!

Notice of appeal, May 2004
http://www.acluutah.org/mspnoticeofappealPR.htm
SLC Tribune, July 10, 2009
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_12811907

Emily K
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

god, it wasn’t even a kiss on the mouth.

And isn’t a smooch on the mouth a Christian tradition, as a (loving but nonsexual) gesture of fellowship?? come ON!

Burr
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

I’m guessing foreigners who are friendly with each other won’t be allowed there then. I kiss my male relatives on the cheek all the time. It’s just custom.

Lynn David
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Wow… I was out researching some family history at the LDS-FHL at Salt Lake back in the 1980s. On Thursday night after listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (public) practice I chatted up a guy who had been giving me the eye in the Tabernacle while we were still on the Temple Square. So I went from model citizen to trespassing because I’m gay? I wonder if the LDS owned the hotel I was staying at on South Temple….

Blue in Red Zion has a first hand account by Derek Jones.

Penguinsaur
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

The church owns a street? The mormon church wants a theocracy. Thats blatantly obvious.

Max
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Some days I’m really ashamed that I was raised Mormon.

Penguinsaur
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

So if this was before 1978 would black people not be allowed on the street?

Daniel
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

A native non-LDS Utahn posting here. Let me tell you a little about Utah for those who are not aware. Utah is a very special place to live if you’re anything but Mormon.

One of the most irritating things is that the literal center of downtown SLC is owned by the LDS church. If you ever get the chance to come to Utah, try to schedule it during the LDS conference weekend. It’s an ocean of white shirts and black pants and families of 8+ people as far as the eye can see.

The nightly news? Owned by and directly influenced by the LDS church.

Larry H. Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz, wouldn’t show Brokeback Mountain in any of his theaters because of the content. He’s LDS.

I hate to say it, but this entire state is brainwashed by the church…it’s nearly impossible to get any kind of objective news coverage or opinions that aren’t directly reflecting the LDS belief system.

Mormon’s want to preserve the sanctity of marriage, but they’re not leading an all-out barrage against divorce or infidelity.

EDDIE JR.
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel called It Can’t Happen Here, refering to the rise of nazi Germany. I’m seeing little episodes (like this one in Salt Lake City) and I’m wondering if everyone should read this very scary novel. It is happening here.

Regan DuCasse
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Larry Miller. Right. He wouldn’t screen Brokeback Mountain (in breech of a distribution contract), but the ultra violent film “Hostel” did get screened.

Hmmm…two men showing casual affection to each other warrants an arrest as if a violent assault had occurred.

But the arrest was an assault of a kind, now THAT is tolerated.
Violence before love as far as ‘freedom of expression’ is concerned in their world.

Yes…I AM concerned for “The Children” of the Book.

AdrianT
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Reasonable people will be shocked and angered by this gestapo-style treatment of gay people, equivalent to how african americans were treated in alabama in the 1950s. It’s time gay people took their place, and acted ‘just as if’ it were normal. Love is not a crime.

This is where mass sit ins in the square are needed – get 50 or 60 activists, or more, to walk through the square, holding hands.

Then tell the powers that be, you’ll be back week after week after week. Eventually they will give in. because weeks of seeing gay people handcuffed and abused on TV will drill into peoples minds what a hateful intolerant nasty spiteful organization the Mormon church is.

Here in London, I was at a talk by veteran activist Peter Tatchell about the success they had in holding sit-ins in english pubs in 1971, that refused to serve gay people or ordered them out. The police would eventually come to throw them out, strip search them. In the short term, it was humiliating and the pub owners thought they had taught the gays a lesson, but in the end the bad publicity made them change.

This is on a bigger scale – but the eyes of the America and the world would be on Utah.

Also, the outside world could help by avoiding Utah businesses for example.
Direct action is the best way to make change happen in the long run. Some brave people need to take that step.

Emily K
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

I would gladly participate in such an act. Here in Philadelphia, however, there isn’t much need to stage such acts.. and I seem to be far from the places that need it most.

I would also suggest that not just gay couples be there holding hands, but guys (gay OR straight) who are friends, because there’s nothing sexual or wrong about holding hands! And, as another stated, kissing on the cheek as a salutation is typical in other cultures. We can show that simple signs of affection such as these are human, not gay or straight or feminine or masculine.

Tevia
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

The only way to deal with this is to break the back of the mormon church. starting with a multi-staged boycott of

a) any mormon owned company

b) any company based in utah which panders to mormon interests.

and

c) any company donating campaign funds to any mormon, mormon backed, or mormon supporting politician

a carefully compiled and maintained list of all of these companies, their product lines and brands, and their stock exchange symbols will be needed, and the conditions for removal must be clear as well for companies in categories b and c since the purpose of the boycott is to change behaviors.

paul j stein
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Tax the bastards!

Scott
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

I think a kiss-in is in order for this particular site. Let’s have the news cameras showing Mormon foot soldiers turning the hoses on a few hundred kissing couples (gay and straight).

jim
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

Complicated.

What is public use?

If I run a stop sign at a shopping center and hit another car, who is at fault?

I initially agree with Tevia. Boycott.

Problem is: How do we identify them? We must be fair.

My personal solution is to not visit Utah, not visit Texas, or anywhere else where fag bashing is ok.

Aubrey
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

I grew up Mormon in Utah..luckily I escaped the church but not the state. Going to the church property in the city was always a tradition in my family, and many friends and family members were married in the Temple. If you look at ANY wedding pictures from couples married in the SLC temple, there are all KINDS of kisses and affection being shown. When it’s a hetero wedding it’s fine…even momentous and documented on film hundreds of thousands of times. It of course isn’t the PDA, it is that it was from a same-sex couple, PERIOD. I’m all for some kind of peaceful protest. The only good thing to come from this is the bad PR for the church. I’m hoping because info is so readily available the truth can come out and facilitate the church’s downfall.

Regan DuCasse
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

Twenty years ago, I was in SLC for a little over a week. And didn’t see another black person (and yes, I spoke to him) until well into the fifth day of that week. It was at the mall, and it was crowded. I did speak to this gentleman and he told me he always dressed in a suit and tie when going downtown and into retail stores. He didn’t raise as much suspicion that way.

You all know I love white folks as much as I do anyone. I love diversity and the ability to enjoy all kinds of cultures and languages without having to leave America.
But to be honest, not seeing another ethnicity (not even Native Americans or Latinos) for so long in such a crowded place…creeped me the hell out.
Perhaps it’s better now, since it’s been so long.
I certainly hope so. But I really don’t want to have THAT experience EVER again.
Only except in a country like Norway or the Netherlands, or Ireland, I might expect it. And maybe not even then.
But not here in America…

Allen M
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

Why are so many determined to hate that which they don’t understand? We should boycott the Mormon Church, let the weight of public opinion be their downfall!

You can bet a year’s pay that if it had been a straight couple kissing nothing would have happened!

All couples, gay and straight alike should be able to show affection in public. If it’s considered appropriate in public for a straight couple then by definition it is appropriate for same sex couples.

All same sex couples should stand up and be counted. Show affection in public and don’t let the hateful bigots of the other side stand in your way! There is only ONE time to hold back and that is if it is dangerous to do otherwise. Apart from that, be open about who you are because there is only one way we can change public opinion and that is by not being in the closet. So what if people give us a bad stare or even call us names or whatever. We can’t let that get to us. After all stares and name calling can’t hurt us unless we let it.

The USA used to be a shining example of Equality compared to most other countries. NOW, we are near the bottom of the list!

Places like Canada and Denmark and others start to look better and better.

Make no mistake about it, many on the other side want the entire country to be run as a theocracy!! I’ve been on a conservative web site called Townhall.com for well over a year now trying to change hearts and minds. And I can tell you for a fact they truly want a theocracy! I get so burned out being on this web site but somehow I tough it out because if I can change just one person in 500 it will have been worth it. But it isn’t easy reading the hatred and bigotry spewing from so many on this web site. They will do ANYTHING to ostracize and demonize and outlaw homosexuality. And they always twist things to no end, basically saying things like all homosexuals have a proclivity to sexually abusing children. They will do ANYTHING to spread their hatred.

I realize not all Christians or religious people are like this, I have quite a few Christian friends who are NOTHING like this. But the ultra conservative ones that frequent this web site are very hateful people!

ravenbiker
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

I wonder if, say, 200 couples showed up at a steady stream over the course of, say, 30 minutes and did the same; Walk hand in hand and share a peck on the cheek. Would they have enough security? And what kind of dolts inhabit the Salt Lake City govenment that allows public streets made private?

balance
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

We did have a Kiss-In, with a hundred or so people, and got on the news. There is another planned for this Sunday.

Pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102149812893

Feel free to bring the common sense I’ve seen in the comments here, and comment over there!

balance
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

BTW, I’m pretty sure there are already lists of Mormon businesses out there (plenty of them owned by the church itself!) Boycotting Utah itself hurts those of us that are already fighting the church on this. Targeted boycott is better. I saw lists when reading the backlash on Mormon involvement in California’s Prop 8.

I’d search a list up for you, but you can google, and I’m late for work! Ciao!

Richard W. Fitch
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

I keep thinking this property deal sounds a whole lot like the $24 worth of beads the Indians took for the Island of Manhattan. How many on the board that brokered the deal were actually LDS members in good standing who were trying to gain more merit? In effect, the citizens of SLC were swindled out of a parcel that should still be a public property.

Scott P.
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

Richard, you got that right! And the land sale was just the the beginning of this mess. The LDS Church guaranteed to an easement with no restrictions on people’s behavior, but when a man crossed while smoking the Church had a hissy fit and tried to restrict what people could do. When it looked like they’d loose in court they traded worthless land to the city in exchange for the easement. Two-faced dealing, now where have we seen that before, hmmm?????

LDS
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

I invite you to attend the LDS church and speak to the missionaries if you truly want to know what a Mormon believes.

I doubt this will be printed, but the same persecution which drove us out of the U.S. to Utah –realize the U.S. came to us– is still going on today!

Utah is a state, but it’s roots in the LDS faith go beyond statehood. If you’d like learn more about Utah history please visit Wikipedia and stop sounding like an ignorant, “dolt.”

Whereever you reside may I suggest you look to your own backyard to cleanup… their is plenty to be had!

Yours,

Sick of the garbage!

LDS
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

I think this group needs to a read the book Liberal Fascism.

I am sick and tired of this garbage and defamatory tone towards my faith.

If you don’t like the way it is, then don’t go their!

Stay in your little realm of the world, and be content. Stop this nonsensical stupidity and realize that in Nazi Germany the same persecution and defamation you are focusing your efforts on today occurred in what eventually became death camps!

Your group think mentality makes me sick, and you are looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. You have it completely back@$$wards.

Fascism is alive and well, but it’s not the LDS faith that’s practicing it!

It is you the bitter population that refuses to respect the tenants of one’s faith, and instead seeks to corrupt it… Put the binoculars down, –you don’t know how to use them anyway—and look in the mirror, it is your group think mob that is practicing fascism!

If I had a Book of Mormon I wouldn’t throw it at you, I’d sucker punch you in the gut and lay it on your stomach to hug, as you lay crying on the ground AND not because of your orientation but because I’m sick of your stupidity and inflammatory insults!

Move to modern day Mexico, they still have cheap land. We Mormons have already claimed that former Mexican territory in Utah. The irony! We moved out of the U.S. to the Utah territory to get away from this persecution!

Alot of good statehood did for us! Over 60% of the land in Utah is now federally owned!

If God only requires 10% why does Uncle Sam require sooooo much more.

Move the freak on!

Scott P.
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

LDS, I know more than enough about your church, thank you, I was raised in Salt Lake. And after the United States won the Mexican-American War Utah, Arizona, California and Nevada were ceded by Mexico, so your statement that the U.S. came to you is fallacious, otherwise your elders would never have given up polygamy in exchange for statehood.

Oh, and learn the difference between there, their and they’re.

Richard W. Fitch
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

LDS: Since you seem to think so highly of Wikipedia, you might want to review the entry describing the life and career of Joseph Smith, Jr., better know as the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’d like to know your defense of his many well-documented “missteps”.

Tevia
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

LDS, i think you meant to say you moved out of the US to Utah territory so you could murder innocent settlers.

read up on the Mountain Meadows massacre.

Timothy Kincaid
July 16th, 2009 | LINK

I invite you to attend the LDS church and speak to the missionaries if you truly want to know what a Mormon believes.

During the summer and fall of 2008, “missionaries” – of a sort – spoke to me about what the church believes. This is what they said:

We think that our faith trumps your civil rights. We believe that we are entitled to tell you how to live. We believe that we are superior to you and that we are entitled to rights that should be denied to you.

We are so convinced of the rightness of our position that we will fund and staff a campaign to take away rights from you. We will provide over $20 million dollars and 80-90% of all volunteers to impose our brand of marriage on you, even though we don’t live in your state and are not impacted by these laws.

We will not hesitate to force you to comply with our faith. We will change your laws, we will run a campaign of lies and deceit, and we will not hesitate to back it up with the force of the police.

We are arrogant. We are liars. And we want to do you harm.

Frankly, LDS, I’ve heard all I need to hear. And what I heard from those “missionaries” – and from you – does not reflect positively on your religion.

Richard W. Fitch
July 16th, 2009 | LINK

LDS … LSD … I get confused. They both seem to have the same effect.

Richard W. Fitch
July 18th, 2009 | LINK

Security guards for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cited the “unwanted” behavior of kissing and hugging as the reason why they detained two gay men on church property last week in Salt Lake City, according to the police report for the incident.
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_12838610

The report, which the Salt Lake Tribune made available online, appeared to contradict statements from the LDS Church in the wake of the detainment and ticketing of Matt Aune and his partner Derek Jones for trespassing on Main Street Plaza near the LDS temple on Thursday.

LDS spokeswoman Kim Farah had said in a statement that the men were “asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior just as any other couple would have been.” She said police were called when the men “became argumentative and used profanity and refused to leave the property.”

However, the police report does not suggest that church security guards asked Aune and Jones to modify their behavior in order to remain on the plaza. The report says the men were told directly that “they need to leave [church] property for the behavior and that [it] is unwanted.”

The LGBT community of Salt Lake City organized a kiss-in (pictured) at Temple Square on Sunday in order to protest the detainment of Aune and Jones.

Jason D
July 19th, 2009 | LINK

“I am sick and tired of this garbage and defamatory tone towards my faith.”

Then your faith might want to back out of politics. If you move into the national spotlight, you’re fair game for criticism.

“If you don’t like the way it is, then don’t go their!”

If only your faith had the same philosophy regarding california and gay marriage.

“Stay in your little realm of the world, and be content.”

again, if only your faith and faith leaders felt this way, too. Stay in your own little realm and leave the rest of us alone. But no, you send missionaries and money to stop honest, hardworking american families.

“Stop this nonsensical stupidity and realize that in Nazi Germany the same persecution and defamation you are focusing your efforts on today occurred in what eventually became death camps!”

Funny you bring up Nazi Germany, roughly 15000 LGBT people were murdered during the holocaust. They wore pink triangles and were beaten up both by the guards and by the other prisoners. They were given the most degrading and dangerous work in the camps and many of the instruments of death and torture used on the Jewish people were first tested and perfected on LGBT people. If you really want to get into the “Opression Olympics” with us, we’ve got you beat, by several thousand years.

“Your group think mentality makes me sick, and you are looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. You have it completely back@$$wards.

Fascism is alive and well, but it’s not the LDS faith that’s practicing it!”

What exactly was Prop 8, then? Your disconnect from reality makes me sick.

“It is you the bitter population that refuses to respect the tenants of one’s faith,”

The ONLY people who need to respect the tenants of ANY faith are the people OF THAT FAITH.

You want to talk about fascism and you expect other people, non-believers to respect the tenants of your faith? Pot, this is kettle, you’re black.

“…and instead seeks to corrupt it… Put the binoculars down, –you don’t know how to use them anyway—and look in the mirror, it is your group think mob that is practicing fascism!”

Corrupt it? By living our lives as we choose? Have you even looked up freedom?
It’s really simple, if you and your faith don’t want to be criticized, then stop trying to force the tenants of your faith on other people who’s lives and loves are not up for judgment by you or your faith.

If you want respect for your faith, you should try giving respect to those not of your faith. Here’s a hint, taking away a civil right is NOT respectful. Marriage equality hurts no one, look at Massachusetts, it still has the lowest divorce rate and not one church has been forced to perform a gay wedding or lost it’s tax exempt status.

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