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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Squeak and the Oil

A few days ago in Salt Lake City, a gay couple was on property owned by the LDS church. One of the men kissed his partner on the cheek. A security guard soon came up to them and told them public displays of affection are not allowed on the property. The couple began to protest, assuming they were being singled out for being gay. They were asked to leave the property, but they refused. They were detained on the property by security until the police could sort out the mess. The gay men were given citations for trespassing by the police and escorted off the property.

If you read the Salt Lake Tribune, a paper purposely over the top in its liberalism (it sells tons in SLC), the men were singled out for being gay and the Salt Lake police was unfair in their investigation and issuing of citations. The SLCPD has been bombarded with calls from citizens looking for some kind of LDS/SLCPD connection. The wackos have come out of the shadows again. The Prop 8 insanity isn't that far behind us, but some of these folks won't let you forget about it.

I'm a supporter of union rights for gay and lesbian couples. Whatever you or I may think of their lifestyle, no matter if we approve, accept or simply tolerate, sexual orientation should not play in to a legal union between two individuals, may they be lovers or not. I also believe that the states have the only say in the matter, as the federal government has no Constitutional right to meddle in the marriage laws of states. If Vermont wants to have gay marriage while Virgina has civil union, that's what they want. Social issues are state issues. But while I'm a supporter, I'm sadden to say that the only activists that get on the front pages (and supported by those pages, in the case of the Salt Lake Tribune) are the ones who, in a political sense, can't keep it their pants.

Gay activist groups, a minority among Utah's thriving gay population, staged a “kiss-in” across from the LDS. Gay and lesbian couples were affectionate. Kissing and hugging, in a childish, but clever “eff you” to the LDS. Nothing wrong with that. Free speech is for everyone, as long as you respect the rights of others. The LDS have strict no-protest rules for their property due to the frequent mass protests staged by fundamentalist Protestants and other fundie groups angered at the LDS's existence. During the kiss-in, word got around the one hundred or so people that they were going to walk on the property. LDS security got wind and called in the cops. The cops, enforcers of the law, came down to block the protesters from entering LDS property. Many were none too pleased, both at the protest and across the local news websites. The posts were “insane,” to quote a reader.

The thing with being is right is you can be so wrong in your expression of your righteousness. You could be protesting against the KKK, but tossing rocks at them isn't going to win you any fans with the law and order crowd, no matter how much they agree with you. SLC has one of the largest gay populations (per capita) in the country. It has a thriving gay culture and despite the horror stories from California, gays are not oppressed by the new devil known as Mormon. It may not be perfect, but considering California TWICE banned gay marriage and now is underwater with its budget, Utahn gays are much more well off than their Californian brethren.

People love to look for the screaming child or stare at the insane man arguing with a tree. These things may amuse, but they are also meaningless and to look is to waste one's time. This goes with the stupid and sometimes violent actions of the radical gay activists. They may have the right idea (legal rights for gay couples), but chasing Christians out of Castro, harassing Mormons, attacking old ladies and breaking the law out of a sense of pure righteousness will only turn more and more people against the cause.

Think about it. How many people reference the Hippie movement positively anymore?

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