Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Protests Continue Over LDS Regulation Of Plaza In Salt Lake City

The Salt Lake Tribune this month has carried a series of articles (1, 2, 3) on the latest controversy over how the LDS Church administers Main Street Plaza, an area in downtown Salt Lake City that the Church purchased from the city in transactions beginning in 1999. Originally the city kept an easement, but after controversies over LDS regulation of expression on the Plaza, the city's right of way was sold to the Church. (Background.) The latest incident (full text of police report) arose in early July when LDS security guards asked a gay couple to stop their inappropriate behavior after the couple kissed. An argument ensued, and eventually the couple was cited for trespassing by the Salt Lake Police Department. This past Sunday, some 200 couples staged a "kiss-in" on Church property to protest the treatment of the gay couple. This was the second such protest. America Forever, an anti-gay group, was there with counter protest signs, and some 20 minutes of shouting between the groups ensued.