Gay kiss arrest sparks ‘Kiss-In’ protest at SLC Mormon TempleJul 21st, 2009 | By Jody May-Chang | Category: Featured Articles, Intermountain Northwest, News
Matt Aune, 28 and Derek Jones, 25, a gay couple, were detained July 8, 2009 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints security. The couple was walking across the Temple plaza on their way home from a nearby concert while holding hands, the couple stopped and Aune kissed Jones on the cheek.
LDS security say they asked them to stop â€œengaging in inappropriate behavior,â€ reports the Salt Lake Tribune. According to church security, when the couple refused to leave they were detained while Salt Lake City Police were called. LDS security â€œput Jones on the ground and handcuffed himâ€ and also roughly cuffed Aune. When police arrived the couple was arrested and cited for criminal trespassing.
Not sure what made the Mormon Church think a trespassing arrest would make this go away in light of the intense reaction, and negative publicity, the Church received in thier highly publicized participation is Californiaâ€™s Proposition 8.
Now things have escalated to more deliberate public displays of affection by both gay and supportive straight couples, when Sunday about 200 gathered at the LDS Church’s Main Street Plaza to stage a “kiss-in.” Protesters entered property for three rounds of kissing in the second such demonstration since Aune and Jonesâ€™s arrest. Counter protesters gathered from a group called America Forever some minor altercations occurred between groups but no arrests were reported.
Jody May-Chang now writes on "As I See It...Reporting from the front lines