I'm often interested in or even entertained by the ways different news organizations choose to report incidents like this and the different tidbits of information you get from them.
"They say they were assaulted when LDS Church security told them to leave, but they refused and asked why.
So what transpired after these innocent lovers quietly and respectfully asked why? It's awful:
“The next thing we know, I'm being forced onto the ground on my stomach, my face is on the pavement, they handcuffed me and they grab Matt and try to get him into handcuffs," says Jones.
Tried. So what you're saying is...there was enough resistance on their part to make it a challenge for security guards to get handcuffs on them? Interesting.
KSL quotes a blog written by Derek, one of the men, regarding Matt, the other:
Matt then tried to get them to admit they were singling us out because they just didn't approve of ‘gay' public displays of affection, baiting them into revealing their bigotry."
OK, so let's sort out a couple of things here:
That said, I could understand the possibility that they were unlucky enough to butt heads with a particularly homophobic and bullheaded security guard who was only too eager to employ physical force against some repugnant sexual deviants defiling sacred ground. It's a possibility that should be investigated by the church, in my opinion, but assuming the story is accurately portrayed by piecing together the various reports, I'm inclined to think that's less likely than the possibility that you had two guys knowingly ruffling feathers, becoming belligerent and refusing to comply when an unamused guard told them to leave, probably in blunt terms. Just my hunch.
Still, I won't go so far as to say they planned the whole thing, but I will not cry over these poor, victimized souls who were beaten down by the man. They knew what they were doing. I think they should stand up and own their disobedience rather than whining like a couple of pansies. But that wouldn't bode well for their "woe is me, I'm an oppressed homosexual" persona to garner sympathy from the public, would it?
In my opinion, if the church wishes to dismiss people from their private grounds for wearing the wrong shade of blue, that's their right. And they should expect backlash. But whether or not you think a homo kiss is the same as a hetero kiss, the church has a right to say it's not and to enforce such policies. The problem, as I see it, is in the church statement that they were "asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior just as any other couple would have been." Really? Doesn't that make it sound like any other couple doing what they were doing would be asked to leave? I'm pretty sure I've personally observed hetero couples kissing on the lips for wedding photos right in front of the Church Office Building. I think we all know the notion that heterosexual couples would be asked to leave for hugging and kissing on the cheek, or briefly on the lips, is hooey, so I suppose the way to make a truth of that statement is to interpret it a bit differently: they were asked to cease inappropriate conduct (which for same-sex couples includes hugging, kissing, or holding hands) just like any other couple would be asked to cease inappropriate conduct (which for opposite-sex couples does not include those things). And that's their prerogative to define "inappropriate" behavior however they want on their private property, just as you and I do in our homes.
...or the church spokespeople just didn't have all the facts and assumed this couple really was doing something lewd beyond a simple, quick kiss. Perhaps? Nah, probably not.
So the issue really has less to do with whether they should have been dismissed than whether you agree with the church's stance on homosexual or homoromantic conduct or believe it to be hypocritical or unreasonable.
Although this does beg a question, assuming it was only a hug and kiss on the cheek: would I be able to give a friend a hug and a kiss on the cheek, with no romantic meaning, without being kicked off of church grounds, just because it might appear to be a homosexual act? Somehow, methinks the hug and kiss was more than an affectionate squeeze and quick cheek-peck to elicit the response it did, but who knows? I wasn't there. Meh, I'll wonder about it the next time I feel inclined to give a friend a non-romantic kiss on the cheek on temple square.
Note: In protest of the church security team's decision to dismiss the men from the premises and detaining them when they refused, a "Kiss-In" has even been organized for tomorrow (Sunday) morning. Judging from the Facebook confirmed attendees thus far, it may be a very small showing, but I'm intrigued enough to consider maybe jetting up there with my camera to capture the moment. Hm...I think I'm becoming a wannabe photographic journalist (and no, not just for gay stuff, though that's all I post here on this blog about all things moho).