Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gay couple detained by LDS security guards

Excerpts of Gay couple detained on Main St Plaza by LDS security guards, Salt Lake Tribune
A gay couple says they were detained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints security guards after one man kissed another on the cheek Thursday on Main Street Plaza.  In a written statement, church spokeswoman Kim Farah denied the two were singled out for being gay. "Two individuals came on church property and were politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior -- just as any other couple would have been," she said. She declined to comment on what is considered inappropriate behavior, and on the rules governing the plaza.

Though Salt Lake City sold the property to the church in the late 1990s, it remains a popular pedestrian thoroughfare, and a site where couples often pose affectionately for photos. The Salt Lake Police Department refused to name the reason security guards gave for alerting police, saying it is "irrelevant." "If a person is asked to leave private property for whatever reason and refuses to do so, that is technically trespassing," she said. 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 on Jones' back and kissed him on the cheek. Several security guards then arrived and asked the pair to leave, saying that public displays of affection are not allowed on the church property, Aune and Jones said. They protested, saying they often see other couples holding hands and kissing there, said Jones. "We were kind of standing up for ourselves," Jones said. "It was obviously because we were gay."

The guards put Jones on the ground and handcuffed him, he said. Aune said he was also cuffed roughly, and suffered bruises and a swollen wrist. The injuries did not require medical treatment, Snyder said. The pair was banned from LDS Church Headquarters' campus for six months, Farah confirmed.
Read the entire article here

1 comment:

Nathan said...

So an owner's private property rights were violated when guests were asked to leave? This isn't news.
Someone getting put on the ground for responding to a security guard with profanity and non-compliance? Also not news.
But when it's the big, bad LDS Church mercilessly persecuting the poor, innocent homosexual couple... Now we're talking!