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Jewish Journal

Gay couple arrested for kissing outside Mormon church

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 12, 2009 | 5:28 pm

A gay couple was arrested in Salt Lake City on Thursday after kissing outside a Mormon church and refusing to leave when security guards told them to do so:

Matt Aune said he and his partner, Derek Jones, were walking home from a concert nearby on Thursday night, cutting through the plaza near the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Aune, 28, said he gave Jones, 25, a hug and kiss and that the two were then approached by a security guard, who asked them to leave, telling them they were being inappropriate and that public displays of affection aren’t allowed on the property. He said other guards arrived and the men were handcuffed.

“We asked what we were doing wrong,” Aune told The Associated Press.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement Friday that the men were “politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior—just as any other couple would have been.”

The couple claims they were targeted for their sexual orientation. And, of course,  the AP mentioned at the end of this short story that the Mormon Church had been criticized and protested for the support its members lent to Proposition 8. But, as a punk kid who used to ride BMX all over San Diego, I know personally that there are plenty of legitimate reasons for which you can be kicked off private property.

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