On July 9, Derek Jones and Matt Aune were detained by LDS security guards after they embraced and kissed on Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City, which for many, is believed to be public property. After refusing to budge, the cops arrived and informed the couple that it was in fact private property with full access to the public but owned by the LDS church. The couple were cited for trespassing, but not before the guards had handcuffed both men, after forcing Jones to the ground. Aune said he suffered a bruised and swollen wrist.
Rex Wockner reports, "Salt Lake City sold the plaza to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 10 years ago, in a move that still irks some Salt Lakers. The precise location of the kiss was a former public easement that the city gave to the church in a controversial land-swap deal in 2003."
Many believe the only reason why the LDS security guards approached the men on the busy thoroughfare in the first place was because they were gay and engaging in PDA. This has spurred kiss-in protests in front of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, and last night, another one took place in San Diego. About 30 LGBT and friends showed up.
Good As You reports that uber anti-gay Peter LaBarbera is calling these protests a "militant," "homo-fascist," act of defiance. I actually laughed when I read that.
Rex Wockner also has a full report including more pictures.
Image by Rex Wockner.