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The Great Salt Lake City Kiss-In

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2009

 For a few hours on Sunday morning, the area near Salt Lake City’s LDS Temple became the gayest spot in the Beehive State. That’s when more than a hundred people, mostly gay but some straight supporters as well, gathered at the LDS Church’s Salt Lake Temple near Main Street Square to participate in a light-hearted protest against the LDS’s detention of a gay couple after one of them kissed the other on the cheek.The couple, Derek Jones and Matthew Aune, were detained Thursday on Main Street Square by LDS security guards.

LDS officials were not amused by Sunday’s show of support for the couple:

Several LDS Church security guards dressed in suits kept a watchful eye, and turned some protesters back when they tried to cross the church-owned plaza or walk onto the property to share a kiss.

Guards called police when protesters staged a walk onto the plaza, and officers stood to block the entrance.

“They were asked repeatedly not to come onto the property, and they chose to do so anyway,” said LDS church spokeswoman Kim Farah. Though a few people spoke in protest, there were no direct confrontations, and guards did not stop the protesters gathered past the property line.

The city sold Main Street Square in 2003 to the LDS church and it is now Mormon property, even though it is readily accessible as a public space.

Comments

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Richard W. Fitch
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

Supporters in SLC should determine the EXACT boundaries of the plaza and stage a weekly Kiss-In one inch outside the total perimeter LDS property!!!

Lindoro Almaviva
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

Actually, I think the kiss in should happen for several weeks in the spot where the couple was harassed.

I think it is preposterous that the government would sell a street to a church. What would happen if NYC sold times square to a church?

Dan
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t live in Utah, but if I did I would have been there!

Now if this turns out to be a one sunday only event than it’s a waste of time! Every sunday until *WE* decide that we’re done.

Richard W. Fitch
July 12th, 2009 | LINK

Remember, SLC is not NYC; and I’m beginning to wonder if Utah is even a part of the USA.

Larry Rockwell
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

I WISH I could have been there. But if the protests continue..there should be two groups of protesters…a gay group and a straight group at the same time. Then just DARE city police and LDS security to break up just the gay group, and see what happens.

badspyro
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

As a recovering mormon, I more than support this movement :p

What people need to remember about Salt Lake City is that it was founded by the Mormon community to escape from predudice and abuse – some of which included taring and feathering, murder, forcing the consumption of alcohol and false imprisonment – the same kinds of things that the LGBT community has gone through in the past, and as such, you would have hoped that the community would have remembered this and not treat people in a similar position in the same way that they were treated, i.e. abusively.

Write to the church leaders, protest outside the buildings where the prophet and the corum of the 12 work, remind them for all of us!

Justin
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

This article only reports a half truth. The couple was approached to control their public display of affection on the LDS church property. Police were called and the couple detained after they got violently disruptive. The article says they were detained after one kissed the other on the cheek. The truth is they were detained after they verbally assaulted a church security guard.

Jim Burroway
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

Justin, could you please provide a source for your version of events?

Regan DuCasse
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

Justin, I’m with Jim. Let’s just, for argument’s sake, say you’re right.

Why shouldn’t a couple get upset when they are confronted by a security guard for something so innocent and innocuous.

Don’t you get the point?

WTF is this world coming to when you can’t be that NICE to another person without someone calling it a crime or offensive simply because of what you are?!

I will NEVER, EVER forget a white woman beating her child in front of me because I was with my white husband (I’m a black woman), the child said good morning back to me when I said good morning to her mother. The little one was only about three years old. Blond, cute as an angel and was being polite.
Her mother ABUSED her for it!!

So yeah, mixed couples can get the stink eye too.

You think I believe YOUR account for a second when I know how people can be when they are set in their ways to be unfriendly towards someone gay?

Joel
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

“Remember, SLC is not NYC; and I’m beginning to wonder if Utah is even a part of the USA.”

It wouldnt surprise me if this was one of the goals of the LDS church in the long run. After all… the world is very corrupted in their view.

CPT_Doom
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

This article only reports a half truth. The couple was approached to control their public display of affection on the LDS church property. Police were called and the couple detained after they got violently disruptive. The article says they were detained after one kissed the other on the cheek. The truth is they were detained after they verbally assaulted a church security guard.

Let’s turn this around for a moment, even assuming the information the Church has put out is correct – and given that “Lying for the Lord” has been described as a key part of Mormon theology, I have my doubts.

A couple of days ago, two Mormon missionaries were in my neighborhood, talking to a girl who lives nearby – in fact they were “acting Mormon” in my non-Mormon neighborhood, and one of them was standing on my bottom step. If I wanted to model my behavior on the LDS security guards, I would not simply have told the young man to move off of my step, I would have insisted they stop recruiting this young girl into their cult, leave the neighborhood and never come back. If they spoke back to me, I would reply by calling the cops and insisting they both get arrested for tresspassing, not to mention fraud (for promoting their false religion, of course).

Granted, the DC cops would be more likely to cite me than the men. That is, of course, because Washington DC is still a part of America, where even Mormons have to put up with those who have rejected their lifestyle choice.

Bruce Garrett
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

“Police were called and the couple detained after they got violently disruptive.”

I like the way you call that account a half truth, and then you employ the words “violent” and “assaulted” in a very calculated and dishonest way.

One of the gay men began to swear at the guards, and the police. That’s it. And all of this began over a kiss. That’s not a half truth, it’s a fact all the parties agree on. A kiss. A kiss. And it was a public space before the Mormon church decided to eat it.

It’s…interesting…that the Salt Lake City police are refusing newspaper requests for a copy of the arrest report, citing a law which gives them five business days to comply. I’ll bet money that every single person involved in making that report, when it finally becomes public, is a Mormon…

Bruce Garrett
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

Oh…and I forgot to add… I’ll endure lectures on half truths from a lot of people, but not from anyone calling a kiss a “public display of affection”, instead of what it was…a kiss…as if to insinuate that they were engaging in some sort of graphic public sexual display.

Burr
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

The irony if it is, if LDS had been more civil about the original transgression and just not made a big deal about it, they would have been spared this mass demonstration of “perversion.”

Gina9223
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

wow, so much for unconditional love…

makes ya wonder…what would Jesus do?

hopefully not kiss anyone, that would be against LDS rules.

Ben in Oakland
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

Rememebr it was judas doing the kissing.

Benjamin
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

Utah is an odd place sometimes. The Main Street Plaza and several buildings to the south were once owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but they divested most of that property to private buyers/corporations. Main Street used to go directly north and south between the Temple and the Hotel Utah. The Church purchased the block of main street (after a big legal fiasco) that passes by Temple Square. The Church filled in that portion of Main Street and created walkways, gardens, a reflection pool, etc. People have to drive around that portion of mains street that is blocked off and go around the entire church property (2 blocks either way) in order to continue on northward on Mainstreet. Mainstreet from the north to the south at the north entrance to the Church owned section is now an access to underground parking for the Church. The LDS Church is now buying back much of the property they once divested in an effort to “protect” the downtown area surrounding temple square so it won’t get too “worldly” and/or run down as businesses may start to fail in that area.
It’s a very odd situation perhaps not unlike Vatican City in Italy.

cowboy
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

I go for a few days on vacation and I come back to read this. I am not going to make friends here with what I am about to type:

The Main Street affair was three (3!) mayoral administrations ago! You remember this little piece of Main Street affair was happening during the preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics. This one-block piece of land was sought after for decades as part of a master plan. The LDS Church and the Mayor were caught making back-room deals with their lawyers and the lawyers for the City of Salt Lake (And ultimately the ACLU got involved.)

It was a shoddy mess which demonstrated how arrogant the LDS Church can be. But when the big Gorilla wants something…it usually gets it. That’s not news here.

But the point is: this stretch of real estate was bought and paid for. They wrangled a deal with the ACLU, the mayor and the LDS Church for it and it is private property owned by the LDS Church. The LDS Church has full discretion to do with it as it pleases.

Would you suggest that gays can invade a Monastery partake in a little PDA? Would you think gays should enter parts of Jerusalem and taunt the local authorities in certain areas of that Holy city by kissing and holding hands?

No?

Why, then, are we rationalizing why gays can do as they please on some property…and in this case: on Mormon-owned property?

I walk on this stretch of land quite frequently during my lunch hour. (Side note: There is a family of peregrine falcons using the East side of one of the LDS buildings and they have asked for help in handling any eyas falling from the falcon’s nesting place.)

I would never consider even holding hands on that part of Temple Square. I know the sensibilities of the people who own that part where you can walk and I have to respect their wishes. It, again, is part of living with that big Gorilla.

It is totally conjecture on my part. I have been outside the gay gossip “loop” for a few days but let me ask some questions:

The place where these two gays walked from was the Gallivan Center. It’s a lovely city-centered plaza where you can sit and listen to a concert. I am also aware they serve beer at this venue. They had to walk about 3 blocks to get to Temple Square. It was late. They took the shortest route to get to their domicile in the Marmalade District…(well known for being one of the gayest neighborhoods in the city). They’re feeling good. Quite possibly they’re feeling the after-affects from the concert and maybe a little of the beer was talking?

Do you become belligerent when you’re a little tipsy? Possibly?

Could they be a bit of the provocateurs in this instance? Maybe they wanted to see if they could get away with poking at the Gorilla a little?

Maybe a combination of being both tipsy and a certain amount of bravado?

It’s going to be a little dicey with working with my Mormon co-workers tomorrow. They will feel “threaten” by me because I’m part of the group who vandalized, sent mysterious letters with white powder to the LDS HQ and marched around their beloved and sacred Temple Square last November.

David C.
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

cowboy,

My advice to the Gorilla: if it can’t stand the heat, it should stay out of the kitchen.

As long as a religions organization enjoys the same protections as any other land owner, I’m totally fine with that. If they want to put up a sign that says “private property: all visitors subject to specific rules of use” and go on to enumerate those rules, it’s fine with me. They want to put up a fence, that’s fine too. But an area without specific demarcation and warnings about requirements for use is essentially public when contiguous with public property.

As far as your co-workers feeling threatened by you, perhaps they should have considered the consequences of their entry onto the political stage, and even though you are no threat to them, they might first consider your humanity before deciding that you are somehow worthy of their scorn, contempt, or fear.

cowboy
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

David C.

The Gorilla owns the kitchen.

And, there are signs on the property to indicate this tract of land is owned by the LDS Church. And, because of its historic legal ramifications most every gay I know KNOWS the rules about this piece of Temple Square.

As for my co-workers: They know it’s not all gays. But from reading the comments about “the kiss” on the local news blog, it has certainly generated a lot of responses. It certainly has been the topic at the water cooler, I bet.

Scott P.
July 13th, 2009 | LINK

cowboy,

You seem to have conveniently forgotten that the LDS Church was sold that land (which never should have happened) with the stipulation that a public easement would be granted and part of that easement would be that foot traffic would not be impeded and that the first challenge was by a smoker who was accosted by security guards (who do not EVER have the right to search people) and told that smoking was not allowed. This led to a challenge by the ACLU which eventually led to the trade of land located near 9th S. and West Temple (more or less) in exchange for the free speech rights of any American citizen who walked on what was once public land. I used to catch a bus to work right in front of the temple. Further, no mere city government can sell it’s citizen’s constitutional rights. The entire mess should be taken to court, all the way through SCOTUS. This was a COMPLETE violation of the separation of Church and State!

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Scott P.,
So, why didn’t it go to the Supreme Court?

(That’s a rhetorical question. Go to
http://www.acluutah.org/mainstreetplaza.htm and find the answer.)

What is NOT a rhetorical question: Is this disputed parcel of land private property?

Jason D
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

“Do you become belligerent when you’re a little tipsy? Possibly?

Could they be a bit of the provocateurs in this instance? Maybe they wanted to see if they could get away with poking at the Gorilla a little?

Maybe a combination of being both tipsy and a certain amount of bravado? ”

Cowboy, you usually make a lot more sense than this.

Why does everyone jump to the provacateur angle?

Is it not equally likely that since this is right smack dab downtown, that it is historically NOT private property and with the combination of love and alcohol they might’ve forgotten where they were? Forgot to closet themselves for that part of their journey home? Are you seriously suggesting that you, or any other gay person has never been somewhere with a date or partner and given them a kiss, or held hands in a not-so-gay friendly area?

You’re dangerously close to justifying hate crimes because the victms “should’ve known better”. You haven’t, but there’s very little that separates the two lines of thinking.

If these people had been vandalizing property or exposing themselves, I could see that. But they weren’t. It was a kiss. An innocent kiss…on the cheek. This is G-rated activity, here.

It is private property, but private property or not — no one gets to force people in the closet just because they happen to be on your property.

Would it be okay if security detained a woman in a burqa or a man in a turban and told them they had to remove this clothing while on mormon property?

And while we’re at it, the LDS property owners should just put up a notice saying “no gay PDA”. If not, they have no reason to complain. You want people to follow your special rules? Then post them. If you don’t have the guts to post them, perhaps they aren’t as important as you think they are. They should not expect gay members of society to closet themselves or do the dirty work of discrimination for them.

What you’re saying is that while on LDS Property, gays should discriminate against themselves so that the LDS church doesn’t have to do it.

I say this is good, the kiss in is good, it forces the LDS church to be ugly, to show their discriminatory face.

For too long we have done the dirty work of the bigots for them. Saving them the spotlight on their bigotry. That’s what Rosa Parks did. She acted as if the world was just and equal, forcing the government to be ugly, to be prejudice, to showcase it’s discrimination. Injustice cannot be highlighted, cannot be fought if we quietly do their dirty work for them. if we submit to their bigotry, if we do their dirty work for them, then they win.

The simple fact is this: consenting adults should not be detained for a kiss on the cheek, period. It doesn’t matter the sensibilities of the property owner, their property rights don’t extend to other people’s relationships and bodies. That is too far.

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D.,

And you’re suggesting I should be holding hands and kissing (even on the cheek) on Temple Square?

Hell, I would love to take you to a popular country/western bar where you would get the shit kicked out of you in the parking lot if you were discovered as being gay.

The gist of all this is: The Mormons are bigots. We get it. We hate them and they hate us. WE GET IT.

Duh.

Jason D
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

“And you’re suggesting I should be holding hands and kissing (even on the cheek) on Temple Square?”

The fact that this seems outrageous to you says more about how you’ve bought into their prejudice. Like I said, they don’t have to worry about discriminating against you, you’ll do it for them, saving them the spotlight on their bigotry and allowing them to continue to do so without critique.

“Hell, I would love to take you to a popular country/western bar where you would get the shit kicked out of you in the parking lot if you were discovered as being gay.”

And would that be acceptable? Would you cheer and clap? Or would you call the police and the hospital?

“The gist of all this is: The Mormons are bigots. We get it. We hate them and they hate us. WE GET IT.”

No, we don’t get it, and your posts on this thread are a perfect example. This isn’t about hate, this is about exposing the raw, ugly face of bigotry for what it is.

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D.,

Yes, it’s outrageous. I am not sure if you have been to Salt Lake City…evidently not. You have no conception of what Temple Square is or what it represents. You may not agree with their rules or their dogma but you don’t taunt religious people on their holy ground.

About cheering for homo bashing: Please.
That’s projecting nonsense about me whom you don’t know. Isn’t there something in BTB’s comments policy about that?

Johnson
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Cowboy, you of all people should know there is a huge difference between Temple Square, a completely walled and gated complex housing places of worship holy to the LDS, and Main Street Plaza, which is a public right-of-way allowing access between South Temple and North Temple Streets, and housing nothing but sidewalks, a fountain and park.

Jason D
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

“Jason D.,

Yes, it’s outrageous. I am not sure if you have been to Salt Lake City…evidently not. You have no conception of what Temple Square is or what it represents. You may not agree with their rules or their dogma but you don’t taunt religious people on their holy ground.”

What’s outrageous is that you consider a kiss on the cheek “taunting”.

What’s outrageous is that you accept and DEFEND inequality.

What’s outrageous is that you changed venue on me (as a poster noted).

What’s outrageous is that you accept a double standard whereby straight people are allowed mild PDA, but gays are not. You even defend this by absurdly suggesting that it is “taunting”.

What’s outrageous is that you rush to defend an admitted biased church and smear gay people with the notion that they must’ve been in the wrong, they must’ve been “poking the gorilla”.

I’ve noticed that some people cannot fathom bigotry. It’s just too much for them. SO rather than accepting that it happens, and believing an example set in front of them — they swing wild accusations about the victim. Somehow the victim must’ve done something wrong, something bad to have deserved it.

A kiss deserves detainment? Really?

If living ones life openly, expecting the same treatment as others is “taunting” — then you need to buy a new dictionary.

“About cheering for homo bashing: Please.
That’s projecting nonsense about me whom you don’t know. Isn’t there something in BTB’s comments policy about that?”

I asked a valid question. I called your bluff. I didn’t say you’d cheer. I asked if you would do that or call the police. It’s rather interesting that you don’t bother to answer that. I didn’t project anything on you. But it’s interesting that you’re trying to invoke moderation for something that YOU injected into the conversation.

What exactly was the point of that hyperbole?

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Johnson,

I am afraid you are wrong. The whole of Temple Square includes the Temple, Tabernacle, the Conference Center, the Old and New Church Office Buildings, the genealogical libraries and the newly opened Church History Building. The public is always invited to walk through to their destinations on the grounds of this section of downtown Salt Lake City but it is by no means in the legal sense a PUBLIC right-of-way. The LDS Church owns the property and as such can dictate the conduct and who may enter the property. Temple Square is not just the one block. With or without walls this area (which includes the segment of Main Street) is owned by the Corporation of the LDS Church.

Jason D.,
You did not ask a valid question. (Call a Cop or Clap question.) It was an absurd question that didn’t deserve an answer and it best be termed rhetorical. I should not have even alluded to it.

I am reasonably sure there are security videos of this incident. Until we get some official explanation from the SL Police I can only speculate if Mr. Jones and Mr. Aune were acting in a ‘taunting’ manner.

Johnson
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Cowboy, I think there are many who live in SLC who would agree there is a difference between Temple Square proper and the Main Street Plaza.

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Johnson,
It’s still the private property of the LDS Church.

You think this place is where shirtless men can walk through while smoking a cigarette? No. You can’t. And why can they enforce that rule?

It’s private property.

Chad
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D.,

Thank you for saying what I know I’ve been thinking better than I can express, even though cowboy clearly can’t be bothered to actually respond in a substantial way to any of your points.

Jason D
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

“Jason D.,
You did not ask a valid question. (Call a Cop or Clap question.) It was an absurd question that didn’t deserve an answer and it best be termed rhetorical. I should not have even alluded to it.”

Well you’re half right, you should NOT have alluded to it. But what did I ask? Bold is mine for emphasis:

And would that be acceptable? Would you cheer and clap? Or would you call the police and the hospital?”

which was in response to this comment, bold is also mine for emphasis:

“Hell, I would love to take you to a popular country/western bar where you would get the shit kicked out of you in the parking lot if you were discovered as being gay.”

You really think my questions were worse than you stating that you would “love” to see the shit kicked out of me?

And if this is true:

“The LDS Church owns the property and as such can dictate the conduct and who may enter the property.”

Why not post a sign, or set of signs dictating what their rules are? This is common practice on private property(and even on public property) — something as simple as “keep off the grass” or “private parking” is quite common and certainly gives people advanced warning about a potential violation of the owner’s rules. Why no signs specifically stating their expectations and rules?

It’s a poor strategy to, instead, send security guards around to confront rulebreakers who may not even be aware of the rules to begin with. Unless entrapment and harassment are the point.

cowboy
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Maybe I don’t understand the reasoning behind the question about calling the cops or clapping for someone getting bashed at a country/western bar. Would you really expect someone to say they would clap?

If everyone is saying I don’t answer the questions, I have one question that doesn’t seem to get an answer: Is this Main Street Plaza private property or not?

I can direct you to the discussion the Utah chapter of the ACLU has on this issue. (It’s really quite good.)

There are signs. Do I need to take a picture and show you? I will supply the picture if BTB will show me the way.

You will have to ask the lawyers for the LDS Church why they don’t feel a need to post such rules of conduct.

I wonder if google maps could show the area in question from the street level. Zoom in on Temple Square.

Scott P.
July 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jason D,

Give it up.

cowboy
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

The police report just released:

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site297/2009/0714/20090714_063104_templepolicereport.pdf

ravenbiker
July 16th, 2009 | LINK

Wish I were there. One question though, are the suited security guards cute? Mormon boys usually are.

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.

Adair
July 19th, 2009 | LINK

Probably no one’s going to read this, but here I go:

Yes, Main Street Plaza is private property. Yes, property rights are important. But, yes, we are not only suggesting that people kiss on Main Street Property–we’re doing it with today’s kiss-in and the one a week ago.

To those of us who choose to protest, there are much, much more important things than right of an organization that is anti-human in many ways to dictate what people do on an open plaza that they own, maintain, and improved.

Some of these reasons for protesting are:

1. Human affection should be celebrated, not oppressed. An organization that espouses the value of family should not consider kissing a loved one on the cheek to be inappropriate in any context.

2. This is an organization that strongly and successfully opposes the rights of many families who happen to be headed by same sex people to enjoy legal recognition and protection that is available to the rest. This is a far more stinging and invasive denial of rights than is our denial of their right to tell us we can’t kiss each other on their plaza.

3. I’m 18 years old. My generation often feels entitled to live in a world relatively free of bigotry. If we have to break laws for that freedom, we’re going to do it as brazenly as possible.

4. We need to keep up the spirits and sense of community in the face of the bigotry that is LDS in order to alleviate the suffering of young, closeted, or struggling LGBT people. Salt Lake City can be a great place for gays, and our willingness to stand up, stand out, and kiss in is part of that.

5. The laws aren’t right. Civil disobedience is acceptable in that case.

6. The money the LDS church used to buy that plaza is dirty money because of the church’s evils. (Yes, the church is also responsible for the city even being here, but we’ve decided not to tolerate theocracy.) It’s also unfair that government favors religion by making churches tax-exempt and by legislating the moral aesthetic of the dominant group.

Anyone who wants an disagree with this for any reason, and I respect that. I just don’t respect oppression.

Richard W. Fitch
July 19th, 2009 | LINK

@Adair:
“Probably no one’s going to read this, but here I go:”

Make no mistake. There are plenty of people reading, and even more watching from the side, tracking what is going on in SLC and Utah in general. The manner in which the LDS church gained ownership of this property and the subsequent series of negotiations in which the city relinquished rights of its taxpayers is despicable. The hope for change indeed rests now with the younger generation. As one of a different generation (but not different spirit), I urge you to make your sense of unrest known.

Jason D
July 19th, 2009 | LINK

“Maybe I don’t understand the reasoning behind the question about calling the cops or clapping for someone getting bashed at a country/western bar. Would you really expect someone to say they would clap?”

I would expect a person brazen enough to say they would “LOVE” To take me to a bar to get “the shit kicked” out of me to possibly applaud. I usually applaud when I “love” something I see.

And wow, I even put the question in bold and you refuse to answer it, or even acknowledge it. How about I isolate it so that it’s easier to see?

you said:
“Hell, I would love to take you to a popular country/western bar where you would get the shit kicked out of you in the parking lot if you were discovered as being gay.”

my reponse started with this:

“And would that be acceptable?”

You avoided it the first time, deciding to go after my secondary points instead. Then I put it in bold and you still avoided it. Still waiting on that answer. And just in case you forget the question again:

“And would that be acceptable?”

“If everyone is saying I don’t answer the questions, I have one question that doesn’t seem to get an answer: Is this Main Street Plaza private property or not?”

The article states:

“The city sold Main Street Square in 2003 to the LDS church and it is now Mormon property, even though it is readily accessible as a public space.”

Perhaps that’s why nobody answered your question. The fact that this is private property was never up for debate. Whether it should be is up for debate, and whether private property give someone the right to force a relationship out of existence is also up for debate. I’m aware that property owners have a right to decide what happens on their property, but I don’t think that extends onto other people’s bodies in this manner. I could say, for example, that anyone who walks onto my property has to stop breathing, as I object to other people breathing on my property.

Amanda
July 19th, 2009 | LINK

I cant believe what they did to that couple for a kiss ON THE CHEEK!Mormons forget that LGBT people live in the same world as they do and make lives with people who they are in love with just like they are.We are no different than them.I will deffinatly be attending kiss-in’s in the future with my girlfriend who i am Very proud of.

cowboy
July 20th, 2009 | LINK

We need a refresher on some salient points:

A couple of decades ago, late at night, there was someone who placed a bomb one of the east doors to the Salt Lake Mormon Temple. It blew off some of the ornate doorknobs, destroyed a mirror and did major damage to a priceless piece of stained-glass artwork. (Note: I’m not talking about the Mark Hofmann incidents. This was way before his time with blowing up cars/buildings/people.) This was in the days when there was no real security and the Main Street ran right past the doors to the Temple. Ever since then, the LDS Church felt their holy temple was vulnerable to pranksters and people who wanted to do major damage to the property of the LDS Church.

And then, there was a statue of pioneer, territorial Governor and leader Brigham Young smack dab in the center of the cross streets: Main Street and South Temple. In 1993 the LDS Church moved the whole monument north 27 feet on Main Street to be between the East Wall of Temple Square and the old Hotel Utah (now an LDS office building).

That was the first indication (for me, anyway) that the LDS Church had something in mind for this section of Main Street. I wasn’t too surprised to hear in 1999 they wanted to buy this section of Main Street and make it a plaza as part of a campus they envisioned for their headquarters.

Primarily, they felt the Temple was too vulnerable to attacks.

The whole process of what transpired is documented in a Salt Lake Tribune article that some people need to read and comprehend.

(You can go to http://www.sltrib.com and find the article: Gay incident reopens Salt Lake City’s Main Street Plaza wounds.) If you want to have a chuckle, I would suggest finding the Pat Bagley political cartoon for Sunday July 19.

You need to read the guest editorial by Karen McCreary and Stephen Clark who are/was part of the Utah ACLU: Kissing incident highlights conflicting rights.

It might make things a little clearer. We, in Utah, have rehashed and haggled over this Main Street affair since before the Winter Olympics came to Utah. It was debated endlessly and vigorously until all legal wrangling came to an end in 2003. The LDS Church got what it wanted.

Then, we have reopened the wound.

And what did this accomplish for us?

Proved that Mormons are bigots. That we know.

Matt Aune and Derek Jones said they were drunk and only got belligerent when confronted by Security on the Plaza. It’s in the police report and there are conflicting reports of just exactly what was said and what happened. I can only speculate but I’m very confident that the LDS Church has some of the finest video surveillance imaginable. They can produce video of the incident if they wanted. Are they holding the video for when the lawsuit ensues and this whole trespassing incident goes to court? I don’t know.

Right now we have Mormons watching local TV reports and reading the news with pictures of gays and lesbians standing on the private property directly in front of the Mormon Temple kissing. This must really endear Mormons to the gays.

The two gay kissing incident and this past Sunday’s Kiss-In may already have cemented in some minds the stereotype of gays intent on drinking and being promiscuous in public.

What is really unfortunate: The anti-gay zealots (do I need to say the: America Forever people) have taken this incident as showing how radical gays have ignored laws and have pushed their way onto the private property of a religious organization. You can see how this will be ammunition for all the anti-gay propaganda they will disseminate.

I bet LaBarbera and that Max guy are just loving this bit of news.

Deb Lancaster
November 19th, 2009 | LINK

Salt Lake City, Not Utah, gets civil rights because of the “Kiss”

http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=4348

A kiss helps bring
civil rights to Salt Lake City
By Dan Aiello

“…Carlson was asked if the national publicity over the July arrest of Aune and Jones made the difference between the church’s lack of support last year for EQUT’s Common Ground initiative and what Carlson called the church’s “full support” of the city ordinances this year.

“I definitely think it played a role. It wasn’t decisive, but neither were our conversations with the church last year. Together, it was enough,” Carlson said.”

Doris
November 19th, 2009 | LINK

I dont live in Utah, but if I did, I wouldn’t.

Deb
November 26th, 2009 | LINK

CPT_DOOM, you need only to review the surveillance tape to see it was the LDS security guards, not Jones and Aune, who became violent.

Look at the tape and learn something new about the true nature of the Church’s policy against homosexuals.

Deb
November 26th, 2009 | LINK

Here is a link to the surveillance video. Note the anger and hatred in the brutality of the guards. Keep in mind, this is Main Street, SLC. The church used its influence to gain the easement (under protest by many), but it’s still a public street.

http://www.sltrib.com/lds/ci_12946027

Scott P.
November 26th, 2009 | LINK

Deb,

No, it’s no longer a public street. It was supposed to remain so when the sale was first made, but the city council traded the easement (after a HUGH controversy) for land located on 9th South near west Temple. So much for inalienable rights!

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