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Gay Kiss-In Organized in Defiance of LDS Church

Gay Kiss-In Organized in Defiance of LDS Church

Dozens of people gathered on the sidewalk of Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City near the Mormon Temple Sunday for a 'Kiss-In' to protest the detention of a male couple by LDS security guards last Thursday, for hugging and kissing.

Dozens of people gathered on the sidewalk of Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City near the Mormon Temple Sunday for a "Kiss-In" to protest the detention of a male couple, Derek Jones and Matt Aune, by LDS security guards last Thursday, according to The Advocate.

Jones and Aune were hand-cuffed and held in detention for hugging and kissing on the plaza. They were also issued a citation for trespassing and banned from LDS Church headquarters campus for six months. .

Organizer and former city councilwoman Deeda Seed encouraged 'gentle' displays of public affection, and participants stuck to short kisses on the mouth and cheeks. Seed who was against the sale of the property to the Church years ago stated "We have tons of gay and lesbian friends and transgender and we just really want to support them."

Demonstrators held hands and walked around the plaza. The "kiss-in" started with couples and grew to a crowd of about 75 people.
While Rally participants acknowledged the Main Street Plaza is private property, they feel security guards with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were discriminating.
"For members of a private security institution to throw people on the ground and handcuff them for an act of simple affection as a kiss on the cheek is deplorable," said Chris Lemon who participated in the "Kiss-In."

Meanwhile, Kim Farah, a spokeswoman for the Church, said in a prepared statement that the faith welcomes millions of visitors every year to Church properties, but asks that they follow certain guidelines which include no public demonstrations.

About the Sunday demonstration, Farah commented: "The people who came today to the plaza were asked repeatedly to comply with our guidelines of not protesting on private property. They were asked very politely and respectfully to leave and when they did not leave, Salt Lake police were called."


Click here to watch the coverage of the "Kiss-In":

                                     

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Mona Elyafi