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‘A Hug and Kiss’ lands gay couple in handcuffs at Mormon plaza

Saturday, July 11, 2009
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Aune_JonesA gay couple say they were detained by LDS security guards on a plaza owned by the Mormon church and later cited by police, claiming it stemmed from a kiss on the cheek.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the men became argumentative and refused to leave after being asked to stop their “inappropriate behavior.” The men say they were targeted because they are gay.

Matt Aune said he and his partner, Derek Jones, were walking home from a concert nearby on Thursday night, cutting through the plaza near the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Aune, 28, said he gave Jones, 25, a hug and kiss and that the two were then approached by a security guard, who asked them to leave, telling them they were being inappropriate and that public displays of affection aren’t allowed on the property. He said other guards arrived and the men were handcuffed.

Police later arrived and both men were cited with misdemeanor trespassing, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robin Snyder said.

The Mormon church has been the target of protests over its support of Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage in California.

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