19 July 2009

Gay Kissers Reveal Their Deception

My suspicion that the little hug and kiss on Temple Square in Salt Lake City was more than a little hug and kiss appears to be confirmed if a new official statement from the Church is accurate.

Of course, this is largely subjective. Some people think groping includes hands low on the waist, while others think it can be deemed so only with a full-on crotch-grab. We probably have two fairly extreme perspectives on what is "appropriate" from the church and from these guys.

As the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
"I guess they consider hugging groping," Aune said Friday. "Regardless of if a kiss is on the cheek or on the lips, it still is not inappropriate -- unless you are gay, according to the LDS Church."

Aune said he held Jones' hand in the plaza and gave him a kiss on the face.

You know, I'm normally fair and try to give people the benefit of the doubt because people's subjective understanding is different. For example, if we pretend for a moment that he comes from a social circle where revealing clothing is the norm and passionate kissing is just what everyone does all the time and you're not crossing over into lewd until you have your hand in someone's pants, then certainly he very well may believe he would be justified and 'appropriate' in, for example, passionate kissing with full pelvic contact and hands rubbing up and down his partner's back. But at this point, after they've initially claimed it was hand-holding, followed by admitting to a kiss on the cheek, followed by now calling it a kiss on the face and saying there shouldn't be a difference between a kiss on the cheek or the lips, I'm just gonna say my suspicion is confirmed and call bulls#$% on this dude.

Further reflecting on his probably warped view of reality is the following quote from the same article:

Aune said, "I think anyone who was detained against their will in the way we were ... would be upset."

And "be upset" = "swear and revile against the steward of the private property you have been asked to leave"? Well, little man, I guess you live in a world where your emotional reaction justifies unseemly behavior or belligerent reaction. I don't. I live in a world where I choose my actions, and even when I believe I have been mistreated, I am not exonerated from acting like an ass. You, sir, seem to reflect degraded moral character in your, "what did I do?" rhetoric. "Victim" my a--...nkles.

Do I blindly accept the church's explanation and dismiss any suspicion that the guards did with a gay couple what they would have done with any mixed-sex couple? No. I still don't believe the standard of behavior is the same for same-sex couples, and I think the church will eat those words if they continue to stand by them. I think there is a double standard, and the church should either change it or own it. But I think the church has made a smart move here. It's too bad they were forced into a corner from which they were compelled to call the men out on their apparently downplayed portrayal of their PDA. If these Tribune quotes are accurate, it sounds like the boys know they're caught.

I wonder if they'll continue to challenge the church on the reality of the story. We're apparently still waiting to see if security cameras caught anything. If they force it, might the church release video footage? Can these boys stand up to such evidence? Will they instead acknowledge their initial deception but focus on the actions of the guards as patently discriminatory by dealing with them in a way they can't prove they've dealt with mixed-sex couples? Do they realize the risk of taking on the Church's formidable legal and PR departments?

Maybe we'll find out. But I'm not losing any sleep over it.

Other related news:

Second 'kiss-in' planned at SLC Temple

Police report on men's plaza kiss released

Gay incident reopens Salt Lake City's Main Street plaza wounds

Update over at Northern Lights:

LDS Newsroom: “Church Clarifies Record on Plaza Incident”


MoHoHawaii said...

The Plaza Kiss incident and the passions that surround it remind me of the Dreyfus Affair that tore apart French society in the 1890s and early 1900s. The divisiveness then was fueled by the issue of anti-semitism. The Dreyfus affair split families and ended friendships.

Was the guilt or innocence of Alfred Dreyfus really that big an issue? No, but it was the flashpoint for a deeper social conflict, namely the place of Jews in society.

Similarly, what exactly happened that night on Main Street Plaza isn't really all that important, but it reignites a controversy that is already simmering.

Personally, I don't find the Church's version of events especially credible, but then you already knew I am a Dreyfusard. :-)

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Dude, what is your damage?

I think you're the one acting like an ass right now condemning the actions of someone when you have no idea what the real situation was, nor have any evidence at all that he's not in the right.

And if he did swear, then he was certainly justified in his "belligerent" action by being accosted my security guards who were being homophobic and treated him like a piece of garbage just for being gay.

Anonymous said...

It's controversy for the sake of controversy. It sounds more like they were looking for an opportunity to ruffle some feathers. What did they think would happen?

Original Mohomie said...

MoHoHawaii, I agree with your view that this has simply revealed an existing tension and debate. And that's a discussion I'm interested in. I think it's a bogus reason, but the debate is one that was bound to take place and, in my opinion, should.

CJ, agreed. I can accept the possibility, however, that they were caught up in a moment and not thinking about the consequences of their behavior. And the guards quite possibly (even likely) overreacted and might have simply asked them to stop (if it was, indeed, more than a quick peck and a love-squeeze) rather than immediately telling them to leave. But it's also entirely possible that these guys were being obnoxious, and the guards didn't feel the need to treat them differently than they would anyone else just because they were gay. No way to know for now.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊], you say "he was certainly justified in his 'belligerent' action by being accosted my security guards who were being homophobic and treated him like a piece of garbage just for being gay."

1. I'm pretty sure I've made no statement nearly as presumptuous or judgemental as this one you made, other than implying that the guy acted like an ass, meaning stubborn and belligerent (as asses are reputed to be).

2. We'll probably have to agree to disagree on them being justified in using profanity and demanding an explanation even if the guards were disrespectful and homophobic as you claim to know they were. I already explained my reasons for this in this and my previous post about this story. It's a bit like going into someone's home, defying their rules, and swearing at them when they ask you to leave.

3. I do have evidence of their deceptive wording or story-crafting in the form of direct quotes of the guys themselves, from several sources, including a blog supposedly maintained by a friend of theirs. Do you have such evidence of the guards' actions and homophobia?