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Gay couple who kissed on Mormon plaza will not be charged

Jessica Geen July 31, 2009
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A gay couple who were stopped by security guards for kissing on the property of a Mormon temple in Salt Lake City will not face charges, police have said.

Matt Aune and his partner Derek Jones had been spotted hugging and kissing by security guards on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ plaza earlier this month and were told to stop.

When they argued, they were were handcuffed and later cited by police for trespassing.

Two ‘kiss-ins’ were then staged on the plaza by hundreds of gay and straight protesters.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped bring about Proposition 8 in California, which banned gay marriage.

According to UPI, Salt Lake City Prosecutor Sim Gill confirmed Aune and Jones would not face charges for trespassing, saying the church had not made it clear that the plaza is private property.

However, he added that the church had a right to determine behaviour on the property.
Gill said: “The two individuals believed – albeit mistakenly – that they had the right to be there.

“Fairness requires that either that property be not open to the public or you condition that in a way that the person who comes on understands that it is private property.”

Related topics: Americas

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